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London Genetics and Astrimmune to Collaborate on Cancer Vaccine
Date:11/12/2010

mune's early-stage pancreatic cancer vaccine candidate, will be used in applications for further funding of its development. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Astrimmune's vaccine candidate induces the production of antibodies against gastrin, a hormone which is known to stimulate the growth of many types of gastrointestinal cancer. Since differential response rates have been observed in clinical trials of other gastrin-blocking products, with some patients responding very well and others hardly at all, there is a clear need for biomarkers to help identify those patients most likely to benefit from Astrimmune's product. For example, there is a possibility that the variable response rates may have been due in part to the inclusion of some patients with gastrin-insensitive tumours, or those not able to respond immunologically.

Under the terms of the collaboration, which is supported by a grant from the UK East Midlands Development Agency, London Genetics and Astrimmune will put together a proposal for identification of biomarkers predictive of clinical response. London Genetics' seven academic partners, which have an annual research budget of over GBP650m, are able to provide expertise in areas such as tumour biopsy samples and animal models, as well as expertise in the genetics of immune responses to cancer vaccines.

Dominique Kleyn, CEO of London Genetics, said, 'This collaboration is a significant pharmacogenetics development opportunity, and we are pleased to be working with Astrimmune on this important project. As exemplified by our recent collaboration with Diaceutics and increasingly recognised by the biopharmaceutical industry, pharmacogenetics, biomarkers and patient stratification are becoming an important part of the drug discovery and development process. London Genetics' network of over 3,000 academic groups makes it an ideal partner for pharma and biotech companies in this work.'

Fred Jacobs, Managing Director of Astrimm
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SOURCE London Genetics Ltd
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