After about four stealthy years in the development phase, San Diego-based Neuvogen is emerging with a new approach to whole-cell cancer vaccines and nine solid tumor programs bound for the clinic.
Whole-cell tumor vaccines are developed by taking cancer cells from patients and modifying them to make them immunogenic.
“What’s different from what we do, is most people use one cell line. We use six,” CEO Todd Binder said. From there, the company builds out six modifications to eliminate problematic immunosuppressive factors, and add what the executive called three “stimulatory factors” to generate a prime and overcome peripheral tolerance.
Immune priming efforts are typically directed at one or a handful of targets. But if some cancer cells within the tumor don’t express those targets, the tumor can escape. So at Neuvogen, the focus is breadth.
“I came from the CAR-T cell therapy world,” said Binder, who hails from ZetaRx. “And the one thing that was critica