InProTher’s immunotherapy design prevents tumor growth after a single injection

  • Induction of strong T cell responses
  • Prevention of colorectal CT26 tumor growth and progression
  • After a single injection before or after tumor challenge
  • Without or with combination with PD1 immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Our therapy makes Balb/c mice resistant to challenge by 4T1 tumor cells. The animals cured of colorectal cancer cells were subsequently resistant to breast cancer
  • See also: Neukirch et al. Oncotarget 10: 1458-1472 2019

Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) are a unique cancer antigen family

  • Retroviruses became endogenous by integrating into the germ cells of animals
  • ERV expression is normally suppressed but not in cancer where ERV expression is required for cancer-immune evasion in animal models
  • Activation of functional ERV genes is a negative prognostic factor in humans
  • A large proportion of cancers overexpresses ERV genes, e.g. ovarian cancer (>90%), metastatic breast cancer (88%), prostate cancer (90%), and bladder cancer (>90%)

ERVs have made poor immunotherapy targets in the past

  • ERV env proteins are naturally immunosuppressive
  • Previous efforts to target ERVs have failed to overcome key challenges
  1. Poor immunogenicity of DNA and protein vaccines prevents an effective adaptive immune response
  2. Otherwise effective monoclonal antibody therapies require the administration of at least two therapies, making it hard to maintain steady therapeutic doses
  3. Human and mouse ERVs are not identical, making development hard due to poor choices for models
  • InProTher’s mutations of the immune suppressive domain eliminate the target’s immunosuppressive properties and enhance the efficacy

Read about our scientific articles here.

Collaborative research projects

In addition to our in-house research on ERV targeted immunotherapy focusing on HERV-K, InProTher leads the Eurostar consortium TREATCANCERV aimed at maturing additional ERV targets for therapeutic intervention in cancer treatment, and InProTher participates in the THERIN consortium to develop therapeutic vaccines against persisting papillomavirus infections and the cancers they cause.

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