The last ten years has seen significant advances in the field of immunotherapy and it is now recognised by research communities, industry and regulators as a viable modality to treat many diseases, such as cancer. It offers significant advantages over other therapies by reducing side effects and offering greater specificity to achieve long lasting remission for cancer suffers. For more information about immunotherapy see www.cancerresearch.org
NKT cell agonists as adjuvants–
Much of the effort by the immunotherapy community has been directed at improving vaccines by developing powerful “adjuvant” compounds that enhance immune responses by directly stimulating antigen-presenting cells. These cells then switch on immune responses by causing proliferation of “killer” T cells that can circulate the body and eradicate infected tissues, or tumours. Avalia has chosen an alternative approach to stimulating antigen-presenting cells by using agonists for natural killer-like T cells (NKT cells).
Once stimulated, NKT cells are capable of interacting with antigen-presenting cells to improve their function. Because NKT cells are very numerous, this process is highly efficient; the antigen-presenting cells become very active and capable of driving large populations of killer T cells.
Vaccines that exploit NKT cells–
Vaccines typically contain at least two components: an antigen that elicits a specific immune responses to a virus, microorganism or cancer cell (e.g. a protein or peptide from the targeted infectious agent or tumour) and a non-specific adjuvant component that can improve the efficacy of the antigen-specific immune response.
Avalia’s synthetic platform includes a family of adjuvants and linker technologies to provide potent vaccines. The vaccines are discrete chemical entities containing synthetic long peptides containing sequences from the targeted antigens covalently attached to a modified NKT cell agonist, which serves as the adjuvant. Once the synthetic vaccine structure reaches antigen presenting cells, it is cleaved by intracellular enzymes, resulting in the release of the active components of the vaccine - the peptide and adjuvant.
By exploiting intracellular enzymes that are abundant in dendritic cells, the most powerful antigen presenting cells in the body are targeted. The adjuvant is presented by dendritic cells in a manner that attracts powerful stimuli from NKT cells, while the peptide is simultaneously presented to T cells. Having received signals from the NKT cells, the dendritic cell stimulates proliferation of T cells that recognise the presented peptide. These T cells undergo clonal proliferation, and gain the ability to circulate the body and eradicate infected tissues or tumours that express the same peptide.
© 2015 Avalia Immunotherapies
Webiste design & development
Wink Brand Design