ImmunID, the immune companion diagnostics for precision medicine company, announced that it has been awarded Small Business Research Initiative funding by Innovate UK, UK’s innovation agency, to advance its ImmunTraCkeR® assay for therapeutic response prediction. The project aims at validating ImmunID’s clinical results with ImmunTraCkeR® through a clinical study on 40 metastatic melanoma patients from the UK, treated with immunotherapy.
It also includes a medico-economic study to measure the health economic benefits for the National Health Service (NHS), the UK healthcare system. The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative Leeds (NIHR DEC Leeds) and the Precision Medicine Catapult are collaborating on the project. The Catapult’s Centres of Excellence in Leeds and Glasgow will provide health-informatic and data-analytic support to mine local and national health records, providing real world NHS data for the economic modelling. Ultimately, ImmunTraCkeR® may be used as an immune companion diagnostic to immune checkpoint agents and help doctors make informed decisions regarding the treatment of melanoma, therefore improving patient benefit whilst saving unnecessary healthcare costs.
The project will be focused on the prediction by ImmunTraCkeR® of patient response to novel immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs (anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD1) in metastatic melanoma. ImmunTraCkeR® analyses the diversity of T cells, the targets of immune checkpoint inhibitors, present in a patient’s blood and therefore can help determine whether the patient is immunologically fit for treatment with these agents.
“The United Kingdom is a global role model when it comes to helping patients access the most appropriate treatments while making the best use of healthcare resources. This is the challenge of the future and our mission. Hence we are pleased to work with the NIHR DEC Leeds and the Precision Medicine Catapult in this immune checkpoint inhibitors program and thank Innovate UK for their support. Our key priority is to show that ImmunTraCkeR® is the tool to identify patients who benefit and to guide doctors through a maze of immunotherapy choices in the future. We believe that this program has the potential to demonstrate medico-economic benefit not only for the UK but globally,” said Dr. Bernhard Sixt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ImmunID.
Professor Peter Selby, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Leeds and Director of the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative Leeds, said: “We are delighted to be part of this team receiving funding from Innovate UK for this project. It represents an exciting opportunity to confirm that a new molecular test of a patient’s immune function can guide us in selecting patients for a new cancer therapy. This could give us a radically improved ability to benefit many patients while avoiding unnecessary side effects in others.”
John McKinley, CEO of the Precision Medicine Catapult, added: “With our focus on making precision medicine a reality in the UK, we are delighted to collaborate with ImmunID and the NIHR DEC Leeds in this area of unmet medical need. Generation of information on how precision medicine can improve healthcare outcomes in a cost-effective way is an important step towards its adoption into routine practice. This collaboration, involving the Precision Medicine Catapult’s Centres of Excellence and a European company, shows how we can leverage UK infrastructure and collaborate internationally to drive patient benefit.”
ImmunID adds precision to the immuno-oncology revolution by personalizing immunotherapy for cancer patients. With its decade-long experience in immune molecular diagnostics, ImmunID provide doctors with clinically meaningful data on the highly complex immune system to select the right therapy for individual patients and to monitor their response. ImmunID’s flagship CE-marked product, ImmunTraCkeR®, evaluates the patient’s immune status based on the T lymphocyte diversity, from a simple liquid biopsy. The company is establishing ImmunTraCkeR® as the general immune companion diagnostic assay for immune checkpoint inhibitors and other immunotherapies. In addition, ImmunID collaborates with pharma and biotech companies to optimize the development of their next-generation immunotherapies. ImmunID is ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certified and runs a CAP-accredited laboratory in the MINATEC high-tech campus in Grenoble, France.
About NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative Leeds
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world.
The National Institute for Health Research has funded four Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives (DECs) to help generate information on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of in vitro diagnostic devices which are important in helping to improve the way diseases are diagnosed. This will help patients access the most appropriate treatments more quickly and help the NHS make the best use of its resources.
About the Precision Medicine Catapult
The Precision Medicine Catapult’s mission is to create the world’s leading precision medicine ecosystem. It is making the UK the most attractive place in the world for the development and delivery of precision medicine, bringing economic growth and improved patient outcomes. Capitalising on the UK’s high quality precision medicine infrastructure and regional expertise, it will deliver products and services by breaking through the barriers to their translation, adoption and implementation. The Precision Medicine Catapult is headquartered in Cambridge with regional Centres of Excellence across the UK. Working with companies, academia, hospitals and healthcare authorities in these clusters and internationally will enable delivery of its strategy, growing the industry nationally while bringing local healthcare impact. The Precision Medicine Catapult was established in April 2015 and is funded by Innovate UK, the Government’s innovation agency. It is one of 11 Catapults which form a network of world-leading centres transforming the UK’s capability to translate innovation into products that drive economic growth.