immatics biotechnologies GmbH announced that the company has obtained European patent protection for its technology platform Xpresident. In addition, the company has been granted important US and European patents covering compounds contained in its lead product candidates IMA901 and IMA910.

IMA901 and IMA910 are off-the-shelf cancer vaccines consisting of multiple fully synthetic tumour-associated peptides (TUMAPs), representing tumour antigens relevant for renal cell carcinoma and colorectal cancer, respectively. IMA901 is currently developed in a European multi-centre phase II clinical trial since 2007, while IMA910 entered into a European multi-centre phase I/II clinical trial in 2008. For both products, the TUMAPs were identified based on the analysis of primary tumour tissue and have been chosen due to their ability to activate cytotoxic T cells and T helper cells against cancer.

Recently, the EPO has granted patent protection of immatics' Xpresident drug discovery platform for the identification, selection and validation of novel tumour-associated peptides (TUMAPs). Xpresident is a unique platform combining mass spectrometry, genomics, biochemistry, and immunology. Unlike other technologies, it is able to identify tumour-associated peptides (TUMAPs) directly from primary human tumour material, so that all TUMAPs are confirmed to be naturally processed and presented on real tumours.

Xpresident also enables the detection of TUMAPs down to the femtomolar level – a sensitivity so far unrivaled. Xpresident is able to identify several thousand TUMAPs per year and selects the most immunogenic antigens through a proprietary T cell validation platform. The platform can be applied to many different types of cancer.

Due to its sensitivity, Xpresident is a very efficient discovery engine with an unprecedented and fast output of validated candidates for further clinical development.

The US Patent and Trademark Office recently decided to grant a patent covering a TUMAP contained in immatics' drug candidates IMA901 and IMA910. Also, the European Patent Office (EPO) issued a patent covering an additional peptide contained in IMA910. The patents cover composition of matter as well as medical use. IMA901 and IMA910, two peptide-based synthetic therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of renal cell cancer and colorectal cancer, respectively, are immatics' clinical-stage drug candidates.