DCPrime and VUmc awarded Horizon2020 grant to support the development of a dendritic-cell vaccine therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
DCPrime, a Dutch cancer immunotherapy company, and the Department of Hematology of the VU medical center in Amsterdam, announce that, together with a strong international consortium of academic and company partners, they have been awarded a 6 million Euro grant through the Horizon2020 programme. This EU funding instrument is intended for translating promising research results into novel treatment modalities, and will now be used to test the novel DC-based cancer vaccine DCP-001 in patients with a certain kind of blood cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). DCP-001 has been developed by DCPrime and the main objective of the project is to test the potential of DCP-001 to prevent relapse in AML patients that have been treated with chemotherapy, by eradicating minimal residual disease (MRD). Additional partners in the project are 7 academic clinical centers in Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Norway, and companies EUFETS GmbH, a cell and gene therapy development company, for manufacturing the DCP-001 vaccine, and Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH, for developing immune monitoring assays.
DCPrime is a clinical stage company focused on developing cancer vaccines based on its proprietary dendritic cell (DC) technology platform DCOne®. DCPrime is funded by Van Herk Royalty, a Dutch investment firm dedicated to provide sustainable support to innovative biotech companies. DCP-001 is the first DCOne®-derived product and already showed promise in a Phase I/IIa study in patients with AML, also conducted with the VU medical center. To engage the regulatory authorities at an early stage of the drug development process, DCPrime applied for orphan disease designation with the European Medicines Agency, and was granted Orphan Medicinal Product (OMP) designation for DCP-001 in the European Union (EU/3/12/969) for treatment of post-remission AML.
Besides DCP-001’s suitability for treatment of AML, its antigen-expression properties make it suitable for application in other hematological cancers as well, in particular in Multiple Myeloma (MM), and DCPrime has entered preclinical collaborations towards that end. Also, DCPrime is extending the applications of its DCOne® platform to solid cancers, and starting to explore the possible synergy of DCOne®-based vaccines with immune modulators.
The Department of Hematology at the VU medical center is one of the largest university hospital settings in The Netherlands, focusing on the treatment of myeloid and lymphoid malignancies. Treatments conducted from this Department include the whole range of suitable interventions, including >150 autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplants each year. The Department of Hematology has a leading role in the implementation of flow cytometry in minimal residual disease detection in AML, and in development of diagnostics and prognostics in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), using immune-phenotypical methods in prospective clinical protocols within the HOVON/SAKK collaborative groups. Members of the department are actively involved in numerous European networks, including EBMT, MDS Foundation, EORTC, EHA and European Leukemia Net.
The Department of Hematology is part of the VUmc Cancer Center Amsterdam (CCA), integrating research, education and health care in oncology and immunology. The main goal of VUmc CCA is to prevent and cure cancer and immunological diseases, and increase survival rate of cancer patients. To accomplish the goal of prevention and cure of cancer, research activities are integrated with top-level clinical care, enabling true translational research.