Avacta Partners in Gene Therapy Pact

Avacta Group, a Cambridge, UK-based life-sciences tool company that provides instrumentation, consumables, and research reagents, has signed a research pact with OncoSec Medical, a San Diego, California-headquartered company developing intratumoral cancer immunotherapies, to combine Avacta’s Affimer protein platform with OncoSec’s ImmunoPulse, a gene-delivery technology.

The research program will evaluate the benefits of delivering Affimer protein genes directly into tumors using the OncoSec technology with the long-term aim of developing gene-delivered Affimer immunotherapies.

Affimer biotherapeutics are an engineered alternative to antibodies based on a fully human small protein that can be engineered to bind to a range of protein targets, according to Avacta. Avacta says OncoSec’s gene-delivery technology, ImmunoPulse, has clinically demonstrated safe and efficient delivery of DNA-encoded proteins directly into a patient’s tumor. 

The collaboration between the companies aims to show that by using ImmunoPulse to deliver DNA encoding Avacta’s immuno-modulatory Affimers, including its programmed death-ligand 1 inhibitor, into tumor cells and other tissues, a clinically relevant dose can be achieved. The companies plan to then demonstrate efficacy of the Affimers in a relevant in vivo tumor model.

Source: Avacta Group


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