Immunetune and Daicel Initiate Research Collaboration on Vaccine Injection Device
LEIDEN, the Netherlands; OSAKA, Japan; April 22, 2022 — Immunetune, a preclinical-stage biotech developing next-generation DNA vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases, announced today the initiation of a research collaboration with Daicel Corporation, to evaluate Daicel’s Actranza™ jet injection device for the needle-free injection of DNA vaccines. Immunetune has already generated promising preclinical results showing improved immunogenicity with the Actranza™ device and will continue its evaluation in collaboration with Daicel, to ultimately use the device in clinical studies of its next-generation DNA vaccines.
Delivery of vaccines, including RNA and DNA vaccines, is typically performed by needle injection into the muscle tissue. The muscle tissue contains fewer immune cells than the skin – as a barrier for infection and other intruders – and intradermal administration into this skin layer has been shown to increase vaccine efficacy. However, intradermal injection with a needle is technically challenging, and both intradermal and intramuscular injection by needle have lower compliance and convenience due to needle phobia. DNA vaccines further require the DNA to enter the cell after administration to exert its mechanism, for which techniques such as electroporation through electrical pulses are often experienced as painful and cause detrimental effects on the targeted cells. Needle-free jet injection pursues to overcome these hurdles by pushing a solution at high speed into the skin layer without a needle. Daicel’s Actranza™ jet injection device uses pyro combustion for reproducible and pressure-controlled intracellular delivery of DNA in the skin. This leads to higher expression of DNA in the desired immunocompetent layer of the skin, thereby substantially increasing the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines without the disadvantages of needle and electroporation techniques.
“Increasing the immunogenicity of neoantigen vaccines through a novel delivery method is an important endeavor to maximize the impact of this type of immunotherapy in patients with cancer,” said Jeroen van Bergen, CSO of Immunetune. “In addition, needle-free jet injection is seen by the World Health Organization as a promising method to improve the safety and efficacy of infectious disease vaccines for global access, and is therefore also a promising option for our pan-coronavirus vaccine program.”
“We are excited about the potential of our jet injection device and the initial results the team at Immunetune has generated with their DNA vaccines,” said Seiji Sakano, Ph.D. , Executive Officer of Daicel. “We are looking forward to further evaluating the combination of these technologies and moving it forward towards clinical studies.”
Immunetune is a preclinical-stage biotech developing next-generation DNA vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases. Its proprietary set of technologies allow the rapid, cell-free production of personalized cancer vaccines encoding multiple (neo-)antigens in synthetic, linear DNA with improved immunogenicity through its unique PyroVant™ adjuvant. Its lead cancer vaccine has achieved preclinical Proof of Concept in animal studies and has completed GLP toxicity studies, with the aim to initiate clinical studies in 2022. Immunetune’s pipeline further consists of infectious disease vaccines, including a pan-corona DNA vaccine, targeting antigens conserved across multiple strains of coronaviruses for global pandemic readiness, currently in preclinical testing.
Daicel is a diversified chemical company with business operations in Japan and around the world. Under the basic philosophy of “the company making lives better by co-creating value.” Daicel provides materials that benefit society and people in a wide range of business fields with the keywords of “health,” “safety and security,” “convenience and comfort,” and “environment”.
Through Mid-term Management strategy, we will focus on the creation of new biomass product trees using renewable resources such as forest resources and the development of innovative process technologies to realize them in an environmentally friendly manner, utilizing the plant-derived cellulose technology that we have been dealing with since our establishment, to create a recycling-oriented society that leads to carbon neutrality. For more information about Daicel, please visit https://www.daicel.com/en/.
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