A prime boost for immunotherapy

In January, the first patient enrolled in the MAGE trial received the first dose of VTP-600, a cancer vaccination strategy based on preclinical research led by Ludwig Institute’s Benoît Van den Eynde. VTP600 is being tested in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The prime-boost vaccination delivers NY-ESO-1 and MAGE-A3, which are cancer antigens that were characterized and developed by Ludwig researchers. The antigens are carried by two types of viral vectors, ChAdOx1, a chimpanzee cold virus also used in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and MVA, used for smallpox vaccination. The phase I/IIa trial is testing the safety and initial efficacy of VTP-600 and is expected to enroll 86 people newly diagnosed with NSCLC. Patients whose cancers express MAGE-A3 will receive a priming shot of ChAdOx1-MAGE-A3-NY-ESO-1 vaccine, followed by an MVA boost delivering MAGE-A3. Those whose tumors express both MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1 will get the same prime vaccine followed by a boost using MVA-MAGE-A3 and MVA-NY-ESO-1. The vaccine will be tested in combination with the current first line treatment for NSCLC—chemotherapy and anti-PD-1 checkpoint blockade. Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development is managing and providing funding for the trial. Vaccitech Oncology Ltd. (VOLT), a strategic collaboration between Vaccitech and Ludwig, is supplying the VTP-600 vaccines.


This article appeared in the May 2022 issue of Ludwig Link. Click here to download a copy (PDF, 2MB).


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