October 31, 2008
Argos Therapeutics to Discuss Personalized Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy Process at iSBTc Annual Meeting
Argos Therapeutics today announced the presentation of details on the Company's dendritic cell-based immunotherapy process, Arcelis(TM), as well as new research into the potential of the cytokine IL-12 as an immunopotency marker. The Company's Arcelis(TM) technology is a proprietary platform for creating personalized immunotherapies for HIV, other infectious diseases, and cancer. Don Healey, Ph.D., Director of Immunology at Argos, will present the poster today at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc).
The Arcelis platform is a proprietary process of electroporating mature dendritic cells with antigen-encoding RNA, as well as co-electroporating those DCs with messenger RNA for the T cell protein CD40L (PME-CD40L process), which drives the long-term, stable expansion of cytolytic, antigen-specific T cells that express the effector/memory phenotype. During product and process development, Argos conducted immunopotency evaluations, which demonstrated that IL-12 is a critical factor in the induction of naive, cytolytic, antigen-specific T cells with the capacity for rapid expansion and the generation of the CD28+ effector/memory phenotype. IL-12 is the primary cytokine that can influence the development of cell-mediated immunity.
After establishing the link between IL-12 and T cell activity, Argos researchers then evaluated in vitro whether or not there is a threshold amount of IL-12 required to induce the preferred T cell response. Results demonstrated a linear correlation between the amount of CD40L RNA electroporated into the DCs and the number of DCs capable of secreting IL-12. As expected, increased secretion of IL-12 resulted in improved T cell function. However, the overall response reached a threshold such that higher levels of IL-12 no longer improved T cell activity.
"The results of this study lead us to believe that IL-12 could be an immunopotency marker, because we could determine the threshold concentration for IL-12 to induce optimal T cell responses," said Charles Nicolette, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Argos. "Argos is currently conducting Phase 2 trials in both HIV and renal cell carcinoma with our dendritic cell-based immunotherapies, and in these trials will confirm the potential value of IL-12 as a potency marker by comparing IL-12 secretion from the DCs administered to corresponding immunomonitoring data and clinical activity. This study also further validates that our unique process of generating personalized immunotherapies may possess enhanced immunopotency and result in improved stimulation of target immunotherapeutic pathways."
The poster, titled "IL-12 as an Immunopotency Marker for Fully Autologous Dendritic Cell Immunotherapeutics," was authored by Don Healey, David Calderhead, Alicia Gamble, Joe Horvatinovich, Helen Ketteringham, Irina Tcherepanova, Charles Nicolette and Mark DeBenedette.
About the Arcelis(TM) Technology
Arcelis is Argos' proprietary technology for personalizing RNA-loaded dendritic cell immunotherapies for HIV, other infectious diseases, and cancer. This platform is based on optimizing a patient's own (autologous) dendritic cells to trigger a pathogen- or tumor-specific immune response. To address the challenge of the unique genetic profile of each patient's disease and the genetic mutations of that disease, Argos loads the autologous dendritic cells with a sample of messenger RNA ("mRNA") isolated from their disease. Through this process, dendritic cells can potentially prime immune responses to the entire antigenic repertoire, resulting in an immunotherapeutic that is customized to the patient's specific disease. The development of Arcelis is part of Argos' broad collaboration with Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd.
About Argos Therapeutics, Inc.
Argos is an immunotherapy company developing new treatments for cancer, infectious and autoimmune diseases, and transplantation rejection. The Company has generated multiple platform technologies and a diverse pipeline of products based on its expertise in the biology of dendritic cells -- the master switch that turns the immune system on or off. www.argostherapeutics.com