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Thursday 11 August, 2016

PureTech Health PLC

Vedanta and NYU Langone Medical Center Collaborate

RNS Number : 8733G
PureTech Health PLC
11 August 2016
 

 

11 August 2016

PureTech Health plc

 

PureTech's Vedanta Biosciences Announces Collaboration with the NYU Langone Medical Center to Develop Microbiome-Derived Immunotherapies for Cancer

 

PureTech Health plc ("PureTech", LSE: PRTC), a cross-disciplinary biotech company developing 21st century medicines in and at the interface of the brain, gut and immune system, is pleased to note that Vedanta Biosciences has entered into a translational collaboration with the NYU Langone Medical Center focused on developing microbiome-derived immunotherapies for cancer patients being treated with checkpoint inhibitors. The collaboration seeks to leverage Vedanta's portfolio of immune activating microbial cocktails for use in standalone immunotherapy and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.

 

Daphne Zohar, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at PureTech, said: "Recent studies have highlighted the role of the microbiome in immuno-oncology, and it's exciting to work with Dr. Weber and the NYU Langone Medical Center to expand Vedanta's pipeline of immune-boosting microbiome derived therapeutics and checkpoint inhibitor combinations."

 

The full text of the announcement from Vedanta is as follows:

 

Vedanta Biosciences Announces Collaboration with the NYU Langone Medical Center to Develop Microbiome-Derived Immunotherapies for Cancer

 

Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 11, 2016 - Vedanta Biosciences, pioneering the development of a novel class of therapies designed to modulate pathways of interaction between the human microbiome and the host immune system, today announced that it has entered into a translational collaboration with the NYU Langone Medical Center focused on developing novel microbiome-derived immunotherapies for cancer patients being treated with checkpoint inhibitors.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, Vedanta will collaborate with a group of oncologists led by Jeffrey S. Weber, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone and a renowned melanoma and immunotherapy expert, on clinical studies to support the identification of new microbiome immunotherapies for cancer. The studies will also explore mechanisms by which the gut microbiome influences the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors in cancer patients. Recent research published in Cell by Vedanta co-founder Dr. Kenya Honda at Keio University, has suggested that human-dwelling bacterial strains can activate immune cells in the gut that could be harnessed for immunotherapies. Vedanta has a worldwide, exclusive licence to IP covering Dr. Honda's discovery. Other findings in the field indicate that gut bacteria can potentially modulate the therapeutic responses to checkpoint blockades, as well as other classes of cancer therapeutics.

 

"Dr. Weber is a pioneer in translational research, particularly in immunotherapy and the development of checkpoint inhibitors," said Dr. Bruce Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer of Vedanta. "We look forward to working with Dr. Weber to expand Vedanta's portfolio of immune activating microbial cocktails for use in standalone immunotherapy and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors."

 

"Checkpoint inhibitors are a major advance in cancer therapy, but many patients do not respond to therapy, and some patients who respond will eventually relapse," said Dr. Weber. "Recent data suggest an important role for the microbiome in the anti-tumour activity of immunotherapy, and our other studies of the microbiome will offer interesting new clinical insights into how and why these treatments work. Further understanding of the role of the microbiome in immunotherapeutic responses against cancer may also lead to new and improved therapies."

 

About Vedanta

Vedanta Biosciences is pioneering development of a novel class of therapies designed to modulate pathways of interaction between the human microbiome and the host immune system, with clinical trials in certain indications expected to begin in the first half of 2017. Founded by PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) and a group of world-renowned experts in immunology and microbiology, Vedanta Biosciences is a leader in the microbiome field with capabilities to discover, develop and manufacture drugs based on live commensal microbes. Leveraging its proprietary technology platform and the expertise of its team of scientific cofounders, Vedanta Biosciences has isolated a vast collection of human-associated bacterial strains and characterised how the immune system recognises and responds to these microbes. This work has led to the identification of human commensal bacteria that induce a range of immune responses - including induction of regulatory T cells and Th17 cells, among others - as well as the characterisation of novel molecular mechanisms of microbial-host communication. These advances have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature (multiple), Cell and Nature Immunology. Vedanta has harnessed these biological insights as well as data from clinical translational collaborations to generate a pipeline of programs in development for infectious disease, autoimmune disease, inflammation and immune-oncology. The clinical potential of therapeutic manipulation of the microbiome has been validated by multiple randomized, controlled trials in infectious disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

 

Vedanta's scientific co-founders have pioneered the fields of innate immunity, Th17 and regulatory T cell biology, and include Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov (Professor of Immunobiology at Yale), Dr. Alexander Rudensky (tri-institutional Professor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, the Rockefeller University and Cornell University), Dr. Dan Littman (Professor of Molecular Immunology at NYU), Dr. Brett Finlay (Professor at the University of British Columbia) and Dr. Kenya Honda (Professor, School of Medicine, Keio University).

 

PureTech Health plc (PRTC.L) owns 75.4% of the company on a diluted basis as of 6 June 2016. This calculation includes issued and outstanding shares as well as options to purchase shares and written commitments to issue shares or options, but excludes unallocated shares authorised to be issued pursuant to equity incentive plans.

 

About PureTech Health

PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) is a cross-disciplinary biotech company focused on areas of growing scientific and technical insights that it believes are at an important inflection point, including the central nervous, gastro-intestinal and immune systems, and the interactions and signalling between them. PureTech has approximately 20 clinical studies across its pipeline targeting multi-billion dollar market opportunities, including five human proof-of-concept studies and multiple pivotal or registration study readouts expected in the next two years. While inevitably some technologies will not advance to commercialisation, PureTech's approach mitigates risk as most of the cash resides on a PureTech parent company level, allowing PureTech to build value and divert cash to its most successful programmes as milestones are achieved. PureTech has over 220 patents and patent applications. PureTech's leading team and board, along with an advisory network of more than 60 expert founder-scientists and advisors across multiple disciplines, gives PureTech access to potentially ground-breaking science and technological innovation. With healthcare undergoing major transformation, PureTech believes it is well positioned to develop and launch medicines for the 21st century. For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com and connect with us on Twitter.

 

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

Enquiries

 

PureTech

Allison Mead, Director, Communications and Investor Relations

+1 617 651 3156

 

FTI Consulting (Communications adviser to PureTech)

Ben Atwell

Matthew Cole

 

+44 (0) 20 3727 1000

 


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