Implantable therapeutic vaccine for the sustained long-term treatment and prevention of tumors and cancer (Nanolymph)

Description of Invention

The invention is a device consists of an immunostimulatory implant designed for the local recruitment and activation of immune cells against cancer. The system utilizes nanoporous membranes which allows for the sustained elution of immune adjuvants from transcutaneously refillable reservoirs embedded in the structure. With diffusion of the immune adjuvants, gradients are set up between the cell chambers and implant surroundings. These gradients in turn attract to the cell chambers of the device and activate the immune cells. Lysates from tumors are transcutaneously injected into the cell reservoir whereupon activated immune cells recognize the antigens from the tumor thus activating the immune system. This generates a whole-body immune surveillance and destruction of cancer and tumor cells.


Stage of Development

In vivo data: The functional characteristics of the device such as vascularization have been tested in animal models.

• Incorporation of mesenchymal stem cells within the cell reservoir at time of implantation drove the extensive penetration of blood vessels that were mature, functional, and connected to the systemic vasculature.

• Demonstration that local delivery of a known immunosuppressive drug from the drug reservoir was tunable by means of exchange area and drug concentration loaded.

• Performed transcutaneous cell transplantation and drug reservoir refilling in the subcutaneously implanted device.

• Demonstrated that local delivery in an immunosuppressive drug in an immunocompetent rat model was as effective as daily systemic dosing in maintaining viability of allogeneic cells transplanted into a pre-vascularized device.

• Demonstrated that the local delivery via the device confined the immunosuppressive drug to the transplant microenvironment and reduced systemic exposure up to 12-fold as compared to systemic dosing.


Competitive Landscape

WDVAX: Under development by the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, WDVAX is an aspirin-sized disk containing autologous melanoma cells taken from the patient. The cells are freeze/thawed to generate a tumor lysate which is then combined with the immune stimulating agents, GM-CSF and CpG, and a protein adhesive, PLGA, to form a disk-like sponge that can be implanted under the skin. However, once implanted, vaccine components in these biomaterial-based scaffolds cannot be retrieved, modified or tuned according to patient's response.


Competitive Advantages

• Applicable to a wide variety of cancers.

• Enables a whole-body immune surveillance and immune response to cancer.


Patent Information:
Licensing Contact
Joe Jilka

Alessandro Grattoni
Ying Chua