On February 28, 2022 Defence Therapeutics Inc. ("Defence" or the "Company"), a pre-clinical biotechnology company developing various products for the immuneoncology space, is pleased to reported the publication of its first peer-reviewed study on the potency of AccuVAC-D001L (Press release, Defence Therapeutics, FEB 28, 2022, View Source [SID1234626248]). AccuVAC-D001L is one of Defence’s dendritic cell (DC) vaccine products designed to treat established T-cell lymphoma developed from Defence’s patented AccumTM technologies. This study, which was published in the prestigious journal of Cell Reports Medicine, is entitled, "Promoting antigen escape from dendritic cell endosomes potentiates anti-tumoral immunity", and can be directly accessed at the following address: View Source;

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There is currently only one FDA-approved DC vaccine available on the market and it is dedicated to the treatment of prostate cancer. However, the vaccine did not deliver the hoped-for clinical outcome due to major hurdles related to antigen presentation by DCs to responding T cells. This is where AccumTM technology shows itself as a major advantage, as it provides the cues needed to bypass the number one enemy of any given antigen: endosomal entrapment.

The study, which was led by the VP of research and development at Defence, Dr. Rafei, presents insights of how Accum-linked antigens escape DC endosomes, which results in their efficient processing by the proteasomal complex. T cells are thus effectively activated culminating in potent control of established tumors or even their complete regression in certain cases. A more detailed analysis of treated tumors further revealed re-activation of the host immune system within the tumor microenvironment resulting in the recruitment of potent effector cells such as CD8 lymphocytes, NK cells, as well as endogenous DCs. The latter population is particularly important as it may further amplify the triggered anti-tumoral response by participating in capturing and presenting additional tumor-derived antigens.

Compared to the existing standard DC vaccine, Defence’s intratumoral delivery of AccuVACD001L affected the tumor microenvironment tipping the balance in favor of cytotoxic T lymphocytes at the expense of the suppressive regulatory T cells. These preclinical findings represent a giant step in the field of DC vaccination and may provide the impetus to recycle past DC vaccines with failed clinical efficacy

The key highlights of the AccuVAC-D001L study are:
The use of Accum-linked antigens enhances processing and presentation of immunogenic peptides.
Delivery of AccuVAC-D001L elicits potent effector T cell responses.
Therapeutic vaccination using AccuVAC-D001L controls pre-established lymphoma.
The vaccine boosts tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and increases the CD8/Treg ratio.

"This prestigious peer-reviewed publication provides important validation of our first DC vaccine candidate, and demonstrates the advantages of using our AccumTM antigen formulation to enhance the anti-tumoral response of DC-based vaccination," said Mr. Plouffe, Chief Executive Officer of Defence Therapeutics.

In summary, AccuVAC-D001L is developed by Defence’s scientific team and engineered to overcome most of DC vaccine shortcomings using Defence’s AccumTM Technology platform. The triggered durable and potent memory response combined with the observed favorable safety profile positions this DC vaccination platform as a base for future cancer vaccination strategies. The use of Accum-antigen formulations provides a versatile framework for a wide range of other DC vaccines to target multiple cancer indications. The human AccuVAC-D001L is currently being generated in a clean room installation in preparation for the melanoma Phase I trial expected to start in Q4 of 2022.