Cimaas has received an important stimulus from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) for the development of a therapeutic dendritic cell (DC) vaccine against lung cancer. It concerns a loan of € 2.4 million.
Together with the previous contributions of the investors it is enough to be able to perform a clinical trial. This clinical trial with responsible investigators Dr. Lizza Hendriks, pulmonologist at MUMC +, Maastricht, and her colleague Dr. Berber Piet, pulmonologist at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, is aimed at safety (in Phase 1) of the DC vaccine and the efficacy (in Phase 2) of the DC vaccine.
The vaccine consists of so-called dendritic cells that are loaded with messenger RNA (mRNA) for a part of the tumor (a tumor antigen). The method consists of removing monocytes (a type within the white blood cells) from the patient ‘s blood. Subsequently, in the CiMaas laboratory, these cells are cultured and differentiated into dendritic cells and the mRNA is introduced into the DC via an electric shock. After injection into the patient, DCs will stimulate the patients’ own immune system, among other effects, to activate killer cells. These killer cells will target the tumor, because the tumor protein-encoding mRNA-loaded dendritic cells leads to the production of lung cancer specific proteins and thus a lung cancer specific immune response. It may eventually also be suitable for other types of cancer (for a detailed explanation of the vaccine, see www.cimaas.com/technology).
Wilfred Germeraad, CSO: “Based on years of research at the MUMC +, the dendritic cells are activated via a patented method in such a way that we believe that we will achieve optimal activation of the immune system with our cells and therefore a strong anti-tumor response”.
Gerard Bos, CEO: “We see the allocation of the RVO contribution, which was achieved after a strict procedure, as recognition of our concept. Now we can really investigate clinically whether it is more than a concept and whether it will actually be meaningful for the patients ”.DC vaccines, lung cancer