In addition to oncology, Immune Design’s novel technology platforms hold promise for applications in the fields of infectious and allergic diseases.
We are executing on a strategy to partner the use of our GLAAS platform in individual indications outside of oncology, which will provide potential downstream revenue while preserving growth opportunity in the future.
For certain infectious diseases, no effective preventive vaccines are available, and existing vaccines against common pathogens often show suboptimal efficacy, particularly in the elderly. In addition, most vaccines for highly variable pathogens offer only narrow protection against certain variants, which is a serious problem in certain indications such as pandemic influenza. Also, chronic infectious diseases occur when the immune system is tolerated to foreign agents and cannot eliminate an established infection. Chronic infectious diseases constitute important medical needs worldwide, with HIV and hepatitis B as examples.
Historically, antigens have been used with sub-optimal immune adjuvants and have mainly focused on generating antibodies that have been limited by low affinity and a narrow spectrum of activity. We believe using a novel molecular adjuvant, such as GLA, combined with infectious disease antigens should boost pre-existing T cells and trigger a broad antibody response, allowing for diverse antigen recognition. To date, GLA has been studied in clinical trials involving over 1,400 subjects. The results of these trials we have reviewed to date support the finding of increased magnitude and breadth of the antibody response.
We have a preclinical vaccine product candidate called G103 to treat herpes simplex virus (HSV). G103 consists of several recombinantly expressed proteins adjuvanted with a specific formulation of GLA. In October 2014, we announced a collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, to develop G103 along with additional assets contributed by us and Sanofi Pasteur. In addition to the G103 program, we have granted several licenses under the GLAAS platform to partners developing a range of infectious disease vaccines, including a license to MedImmune LLC, to develop a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, which began Phase 2 trials in October 2015. (see Partners & Pipeline)
We believe allergy represents an exciting area for the application of the GLAAS platform. Allergies to pollen and food often occur because of aberrant immune reactions, which are characterized by helper T cells producing signals that induce other immune cells to cause the allergy symptoms. We have a large set of preclinical data of demonstrating that certain GLAAS formulations, when given prophylactically or therapeutically with or without the allergen, can shift the responses in a manner that results in significant protection from allergy symptoms. In essence, the immune system can be taught to redirect the T cells to respond in better ways. In August 2014, we announced a licensing agreement with Sanofi pursuant to which we granted Sanofi the right to use the GLAAS platform to develop therapeutics to treat peanut allergy. (see Partners & Pipeline)