Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, a medical technology company specializing in a portfolio of products, software, and services for blood component collection, therapeutic apheresis, and cellular technologies, and Immunicom, Inc., a clinical-stage biotech pioneering subtractive immunotherapies, today announce the signing of a co-commercialization agreement.
The agreement will help advance a cancer therapy that selectively removes immune inhibitors from a patient's bloodstream. This potentially enables the patient's immune system to more effectively attack cancer tumors. In contrast to immunotherapy pharmaceuticals that introduce foreign compounds into a patient's body, which often result in negative side effects, Immunicom's technology is based on a subtractive approach that is intended to potentially limit treatment-associated adverse effects.
The agreement will result in the combination of Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies' industry-leading Spectra Optia® Apheresis System with Immunicom's CE marked immuno-oncology LW-02 Column, for application to patients with advanced refractory triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The collaboration is an important milestone in the advancement of Immunicom's novel subtractive therapy to meaningfully address this advanced cancer that frequently evades standard treatments and represents a significant global unmet medical need. In addition, under the agreement, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies will be the exclusive distributor in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain with potential for future geographic expansion.
Breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the most diagnosed cancer worldwide with 1 in 8 women diagnosed in their lifetime.1,2 TNBC is the most aggressive of breast cancers, accounting for approximately 15% of all breast cancers, and is difficult to treat.3 Each year there are over 2 million newly diagnosed breast cancer patients worldwide, over 110,000 of them in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.4,5
"Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies has supported Immunicom from its beginning in 2013," said Amir Jafri, Founder and CEO of Immunicom. "With their strong global presence and shared commitment to advancing standards of care through innovation, they were the natural choice to strategically partner with on the international commercialization of our flagship immunotherapy offering. With the LW-02 Column being only the first of many platform-based subtractive therapies under development at Immunicom, we see very strong long-term growth potential in further expanding this relationship."
"Imagine if someone who is battling late-stage breast cancer could mitigate the effects of chemotherapy, spending their final days actively engaging with those they love, shaping their final memories," said Antoinette Gawin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Terumo Blood, and Cell Technologies. "That's why we are combining our technology with Immunicom's - to bring this to life."
Subtractive Therapy - Immunopheresis®
Immunicom's innovative Immunopheresis approach uses plasma-filtration columns to extract specific immune-suppressive cytokines that are produced by solid cancer tumors. These targeted cytokines are selectively removed with the intention of neutralizing the cancer's ability to block a patient's natural immune defense mechanisms, which are significantly compromised in late-stage, metastatic disease. This potentially re-energizes the immune system to fight cancers. Immunopheresis is a "subtractive therapy," in contrast to alternative drugs that constitute "additive" therapies. Subtractive therapy is designed to avoid the side effects, toxicity, and negative impact on a patient's quality of life that are typical of other cancer treatments.