This week Belgian clinical biotech company PDC*line Pharma and partners announced funding to develop a personalised therapeutic vaccine based on neoantigens for colorectal cancer.
PDC*line Pharma is a Belgian-French clinical-stage biotech company founded in 2014 as a spin-off of the French Blood Bank (EFS).
It develops an innovative class of active immunotherapies for cancers, based on a GMP-grade allogeneic therapeutic cell line of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells (PDC*line).
Globally, colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the most prevalent and deadly cancers, with a high recurrence rate post-surgery and chemotherapy.
Specifically, the project aims to develop PDC*neo+, a personalised therapeutic vaccine for colorectal cancer that acts as an adjuvant treatment to prevent relapses in high-risk patients with stages II, III and certain stage IV CRCs. Its action post-chemotherapy potentially makes it a pioneering treatment in CRC.
This project is a collaborative effort involving OncoDNA, salamanderU i and academic centres UCLouvain – IREC (Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique)/MIRO (Molecular Imaging, Radiotherapy and Oncology) and ULB-BCTL (Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory).
Members of the project consortium will receive €8.1 million in funding, including €4.7 million for PDC*line Pharma. The total budget is €12.5 million.
Over its three-year duration, it is estimated to create or maintain around 34 full-time jobs across all partners.
PDC*line Pharma has raised more than €61 million in equity and non-dilutive funding. In March 2019, PDC*line Pharma granted the LG Chem Life Sciences company an exclusive licence in South Korea and an exclusive option in other Asian countries to develop and commercialise the PDC*lung01 cancer vaccine for lung cancer.
According to Eric Halioua, CEO of PDC*line Pharma:
“We are very happy that the Walloon region has selected our project.
The subsidies and collaborative effort of the partners in the consortium will speed up the launch of a first phase I clinical trial with PDC*neo+, the personalised vaccine based on PDC*line cells loaded with neoantigens to treat CRC patients, positioning our technology in the very promising field of neoantigen-based cancer vaccines.”
Lead image: National Cancer Institute.