CONTROLLING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM RESPONSE
Immunotherapy is one of the most promising approaches currently under way in
the effort to develop cancer and infectious disease treatments. As a leader in
immunotherapy, Argos Therapeutics is pioneering new understanding of the role
of dendritic cells, and developing treatments that channel their ability to help
the body combat disease.
Dendritic cells capture, process and identify foreign bodies,
and alert the body’s immune response, activating antibodies and T
cells to destroy the invaders. Without dendritic cells being actively engaged,
the immune system is like a huge army, but without a general to lead
RNA-Loaded Dendritic Cell Technology
Argos’ current efforts are focused on better harnessing the power
of dendritic cells to treat cancer by loading cells with a patient’s
total tumor RNA. Through this process, dendritic cells are leveraged to
recognize the complete antigenic repertoire of a particular patient’s
tumor cells, resulting in autologous vaccines personalized for a patient’s
specific disease. Similarly, Argos is applying its proprietary vaccine
process to the treatment of infectious diseases, such as HIV, by loading
dendritic cells with patients’ viral RNA antigens — triggering
an immune response that is 100% relevant for that patient.
Argos is also exploring the potential of dendritic cells in autoimmune
disorders, in which an individual’s immune system attacks its own
cells, mistaking them for invaders, and in transplantation cases
where donor cells are regarded as foreign and risk rejection. In these
cases, preventing dendritic cell reaction can help reduce destructive
immune response in patients.
Argos’ intellectual property estate includes two broad technology
platforms. The first set of patents relates to the production of dendritic
cells from dendritic cell precursors, and the second set of patents covers
the use of RNA as an antigen platform, whether from defined or undefined
antigens. The Argos’ intellectual property patents have been filed
in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan.
Through its partnerships with Duke University, Rockefeller University,
University of Erlangen, Academic Medical Center (Amsterdam), University
of Montreal/Canadian Network for Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics (CANVAC)
and Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, the company will have access
and options to other intellectual property in the area of immunotherapy
that may result from research efforts in the laboratories of these institutions.