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ImmunID to Collaborate with IRX Therapeutics on Test to Predict Immunotherapy Response

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – ImmunID announced today that it is working with IRX Therapeutics, a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy developer, to predict response to IRX's investigational drug IRX-2.

Under the terms of the collaboration, ImmunID will use its ImmunTracker technology to assess the immune-modulatory effect of IRX-2 in a randomized phase 2b study of patients with newly diagnosed head and neck squamous cell cancer. The trial is designed to determine whether neoadjuvant treatment with IRX-2 — before an attempt at curative surgery — can reduce the risk of later recurrence.

Using ImmunTracker, a PCR-based approach that detects gene recombinations in T cells, ImmunID will test blood samples from patients in the trial before and after treatment with IRX-2. This will help define patients' pre-existing immunity and allow researchers to monitor their T-cell diversity over time as a measure of the effect of the drug.

ImmunID will also be evaluating whether its platform can predict patient response to the therapy.

In addition to announcing the new collaboration with IRX, ImmunID also released some initial data today from a pilot study collaboration with another drug developer, Scancell Holdings. As part of that pilot, ImmunID used its ImmunTracker to test patients with resected stage III/IV metastatic melanoma in Scancell’s phase 1/2 trial of its SCIB1 cancer vaccine.

According to ImmunID, its test was able to pick up signals during SCIB1 treatment that indicated whether patients had developed an immunological response to the vaccine. It also appeared that patients who relapsed did not have an adequate immunological response to the vaccine as measured by ImmunID's testing, suggesting that ImmunTracker may hold promise as a companion diagnostic to predict patients' likelihood of benefitting from the vaccine.

The two partners plan to confirm these early results in a larger patient population, ImmunID added.