NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Immunotherapy and companion diagnostic developer Treos Bio said today it has completed an $8 million private investment round.
The new funding will be used to support an early-stage clinical trial of PolyPEPI, a precision immunotherapy vaccine for colorectal cancer. The company expects to begin the trial this year. It plans to use its companion diagnostics to identify patients that could be likely responders to the vaccine.
Treos also noted that it has completed preclinical development of vaccines for melanoma, lung cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma, colorectal cancer, and leukemia.
"Matching patients to our vaccines based on their genetic background will minimize the risk of clinical failure," Treos Cofounder and CSO Julianna Lisziewicz said in a statement. "At the same time, our in silico clinical trials suggest our vaccines will benefit a large patient population."
Treos Executive Chairman Menghis Bairu further noted, "We believe our discovery of the mechanism of how the immune system recognizes and kills cancer cells has allowed us to overcome the main obstacles to successful development of cancer vaccines." Specifically, the firm noted that analyzing billions of genes and computing immune responses against specific types of cancer allowed it to create vaccine design algorithms to mount specific immune responses to combat particular cancers.
The firm's PEPI Test uses genetic data obtained from saliva or blood to predict an individual’s immune response. The test is validated as an in vitro diagnostic device to predict the antigen specific cytotoxic T cell responses of HLA genotyped subjects. It obtained European Union market approval as a tool for identifying likely responders to cancer vaccines and provided the basis for developing cancer vaccines and companion diagnostic tests, according to Treos' website.
The PolyPEPI cancer vaccines are accompanied by a companion diagnostic that matches patients with vaccines using HLA sequence data without the need for tumor biopsy, selecting responders with immune responses to kill multiple cancer cells.