Medigene to present on neoantigens as targets for TCR-T cell-based therapies at 2019 SITC Annual Meeting

Martinsried/ Munich – Medigene AG (Medigene, FSE: MDG1), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company focusing on the development of T cell immunotherapies, announces that researchers from Medigene will present a poster entitled: “Targeting neoantigens with immunotherapy: Are we limited to pre-existing autologous neoantigen-specific T-cells?” at the SITC 34th Annual Meeting held 6-10 November 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland, USA. Thereafter, the poster will be available for download on Medigene’s website.

The goal of immunotherapies is to fight cancer using the immune system. Medigene develops T cell-based immunotherapies using naturally occurring T cell receptors (TCRs) that recognize specific tumor antigens. These TCRs can be added to a patient’s own T cells enabling them to eliminate cancer cells. Using the company’s proprietary platform technology and library of TCRs, Medigene can generate TCRs against various cancer antigens. TCRs can be selected against classical tumor antigens and also against patient-specific antigen mutations, so-called neoantigens. Neoantigens are tumor antigens that arise as a result of mutations that occur within a developing tumor. Some such mutations can be excellent target antigens for antitumor immune responses since they are unique to tumor cells and not present in healthy tissues.

In their poster presentation at the 2019 SITC Annual Meeting, Medigene’s scientists describe how these individual neoantigens can be addressed as target structures for TCRs. Currently, there are limitations in analyzing the reactivity of a patient’s T cells against mutations as the patient’s T cell repertoire is only available at the time of tumor resection or blood draw. Furthermore, challenges exist in predicting specific T cell responses to mutations. In their poster Medigene’s researchers evaluate the possibilities of using T cell repertoires of several healthy donors to determine if a specific mutation can trigger a T cell response. They present proof-of-concept data of how Medigene’s high-throughput TCR platform technologies and automated processes are used for fast and efficient screenings of T cells isolated from several partially HLA-matched healthy donors. Promising neoantigens were predicted and antigen presenting cells either transfected with minigene constructs or loaded with peptides were compared for their stimulation of T cell responses. Antigen-loaded cells stimulated specific T cells for most tested mutations, indicating that T cell repertoires of healthy donors can recognize neoantigens when T cells are confronted by such antigens.

Prof. Dolores J. Schendel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Medigene, commented: “The use of T cell repertoires of several healthy donors opens up new opportunities to specifically target neoantigens for future TCR-based therapies that can help with the identification of promising mutations for vaccination or as a source for TCRs for adoptive T cell therapy.”

The poster with full details is available on Medigene’s company website:

Further information
About Medigene’s TCR-Ts: The TCR-T technology aims at arming the patient’s own T cells with tumor-specific T cell receptors. The receptor-modified T cells (TCR-T cells) are then able to detect and efficiently kill tumor cells. This immunotherapy approach attempts to overcome the patient’s tolerance towards cancer cells and tumor-induced immunosuppression by activating and modifying the patient’s T cells outside the body (ex vivo). TCR-T therapy is developed to utilize a higher number of potential tumor antigens than other T cell-based immunotherapies, such as chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy.

Medigene is conducting a first clinical Phase I/II trial with its proprietary TCR-T candidate, MDG1011, for the blood cancer indications AML, MDS, and MM. It is also preparing to start a Phase I clinical trial in H1 2020 with its TCR-T candidate, MDG1021, in post-HSCT relapsed patients. In addition, Medigene is establishing a pipeline of TCRs and has collaborations with bluebird bio, Inc. and Roivant/ Cytovant Sciences.

Medigene AG (FSE: MDG1, ISIN DE000A1X3W00, Prime Standard) is a publicly listed biotechnology company headquartered in Martinsried near Munich, Germany. The company is developing highly innovative immunotherapies to target various forms and stages of cancer. Medigene concentrates on the development of personalized T cell-based therapies, with associated projects currently in pre-clinical and clinical development.

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This press release contains forward-looking statements representing the opinion of Medigene as of the date of this release. The actual results achieved by Medigene may differ significantly from the forward-looking statements made herein. Medigene is not bound to update any of these forward-looking statements. Medigene® is a registered trademark of Medigene AG. This trademark may be owned or licensed in select locations only.

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