Cancer Research Consortium “IMMUNO-TRANSPORTER”
funded by Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Mainz, Heidelberg, Stuttgart June 2015 – The newly established “IMMUNO-TRANSPORTER” consortium will collaborate to develop innovative approaches in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The collaboration is made possible through funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the program “Efficient drug delivery in biological systems – BioMatVital: BioTransporter” totalling 3.8 million euros over the course of three years. The five consortium partners are all internationally recognized for their successful outstanding efforts in the field of immunology and cancer research. BioNTech AG, the coordinator of the consortium, and Ganymed Pharmaceuticals AG are both located in Mainz and support the collaboration as industry partners. The Institute for Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center Mainz (TRON gGmbH), the Heidelberg University Hospital and the Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology at the University of Stuttgart (IZI) are academic partners.
As cancer is still one of the leading causes for morbidity and mortality worldwide, there is a high medical, social and economic need for new therapy approaches. Conventional cancer therapies often fail as tumors initially responding to chemotherapy or radiation become resistant to the therapy after repeated treatment. The problem of resistance has led to the development of immunotherapy approaches. The concepts pursued by the consortium modulate the tumor microenvironment and exploit secondary effects of the immune response to attack cancerous cells. Similar immunomodulatory approaches have shown promising results. However, research and development is required to improve the novel technologies and to overcome remaining obstacles such as the unspecific activation of the immune system.
The consortium´s objective is to develop, improve and optimize immunomodulatory concepts and to overcome their current limitations. The consortium partners will jointly develop methods to achieve tumor-specific activation of a patient’s immune system to make it recognize, target and fight cancer. With a novel class of effector molecules and new tailored drug delivery strategies, the consortium strives for increased efficacy and improved tolerability of cancer immunotherapies. Based on the preclinical results, the novel approach shall eventually be translated into clinical trials.
Funding for staff, material and investments as well as for third-party service providers (e.g. GLP-studies, GMP manufacturing and clinical translation) is secured for a period of three consecutive years. The administration of the BMBF-funded project is managed by the Verband Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI, Düsseldorf).