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 the defense.

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.

Intellectual Property
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.