NEC and VAXIMM Announce Collaboration to Advance Personalized Neoantigen Cancer Vaccines
- Clinical trial collaboration agreement leverages NEC’s cutting-edge AI technology and VAXIMM’s novel oral T-cell immunotherapy technology
- NEC to make an equity investment in VAXIMM
Tokyo (Japan), Basel (Switzerland) and Mannheim (Germany), November 12, 2019 – NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701), a leader in IT and network technologies, and VAXIMM AG, a Swiss/German biotech company focused on developing oral T-cell immunotherapies, today announced that the companies have signed a strategic clinical trial collaboration agreement and an equity investment agreement to develop novel personalized neoantigen cancer vaccines.
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, which is non-exclusive to both parties, NEC will provide funding for a Phase I clinical trial. NEC and VAXIMM will co-develop personalized cancer vaccines using NEC’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which is utilized in its Neoantigen Prediction System, and VAXIMM’s proprietary T-cell immunotherapy technology. The vaccines are planned to be evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial in various solid tumors. VAXIMM will be responsible for conducting the clinical trial, which is expected to be initiated in 2020.
NEC has the option for development and commercialization rights to the program worldwide, except for China and other Asian territories outside of Japan.
Osamu Fujikawa, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation, said: "Cancer is consistently one of the most serious healthcare challenges, with millions of new cases diagnosed worldwide annually. NEC’s core technology is well positioned for the development of personalized medicine, and we are strongly committed to delivering effective treatments for cancer patients. We are delighted to be working with VAXIMM in order to develop an optimal immunotherapy for each individual patient."
Heinz Lubenau, PhD, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of VAXIMM, said: "We are excited to enter this alliance with NEC and to have their strong support of VAXIMM. NEC’s novel AI technology will enable not only the identification but also the prioritization of neoantigens from each patient, facilitating the optimal potential treatment for each individual. Once the list of neoantigens is available, we will be able to apply our technology to quickly produce a personalized vaccine. Individualized therapy is at the cutting edge of cancer treatment today, and, with this collaboration, we are able to further contribute to this approach."
About NEC’s AI Drug Development Business
For more information, please visit https://www.nec.com/en/global/solutions/ai-drug/
About NEC's Neoantigen Prediction System
NEC’s neoantigen prediction utilizes its proprietary AI which is combined with NEC OncoImmunity AS’s bioinformatics pipelines – making it the leading neoantigen prediction system in the field. NEC comprehensively evaluates candidate neoantigens, which allows it to effectively prioritize numerous candidate neoantigens identified in a single patient.
NEC acquires Norwegian bioinformatics company, OncoImmunity AS
VAXIMM is a privately held, Swiss/German biotech company that is developing oral T-cell immunotherapies for patients suffering from cancer. VAXIMM’s product platform is based on a live attenuated, safe, orally available bacterial vaccine strain, which is modified to stimulate patients’ cytotoxic T-cells to target specific structures of the tumor. The Company has a pipeline of complementary development candidates targeting different tumor structures. Lead product candidate, oral VXM01, activates killer cells targeting tumor-specific vasculature and certain immune-suppressive cells, thereby increasing immune cell infiltration in solid tumors. VXM01 is currently in clinical development for several tumor types, including brain cancer. VAXIMM also has a neoantigen program (VXM NEO) currently in preclinical development; the Company’s platform allows for fast generation and delivery of personalized T-cell cancer vaccines and may overcome key issues faced by other neoantigen approaches. VAXIMM has a collaboration agreement with China Medical System Holdings (CMS), granting CMS full rights in China and other Asian countries (excluding Japan) to VAXIMM’s existing programs. VAXIMM’s investors include: BB Biotech Ventures, BioMed Partners, CMS, M Ventures and Sunstone Capital. VAXIMM AG is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Its wholly owned subsidiary, VAXIMM GmbH, located in Mannheim, Germany, is responsible for the Company’s development activities. For more information, please see www.vaximm.com.
About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. The NEC Group globally provides "Solutions for Society" that promote the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. Under the company's corporate message of "Orchestrating a brighter world," NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow. For more information, visit NEC at https://www.nec.com.
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