Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies and Immunicom Establish Agreement to Launch Breakthrough Cancer Immunotherapy Treatment in Europe

ETC
  • The therapy aims to re-energize a patient’s immune system to fight cancer tumors
  • Initial commercialization will target leading oncology centers in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain

LAKEWOOD, Colo. and SAN DIEGO, Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, a medical technology company specializing in a portfolio of products, software, and services for blood component collection, therapeutic apheresis, and cellular technologies, and Immunicom, Inc., a clinical-stage biotech pioneering subtractive immunotherapies, today announce the signing of a co-commercialization agreement.

The agreement will help advance a cancer therapy that selectively removes immune inhibitors from a patient’s bloodstream. This potentially enables the patient’s immune system to more effectively attack cancer tumors. In contrast to immunotherapy pharmaceuticals that introduce foreign compounds into a patient’s body, which often result in negative side effects, Immunicom’s technology is based on a subtractive approach that is intended to potentially limit treatment-associated adverse effects.

The agreement will result in the combination of Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies’ industry-leading Spectra Optia® Apheresis System with Immunicom’s CE marked immuno-oncology LW-02 Column, for application to patients with advanced refractory triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). The collaboration is an important milestone in the advancement of Immunicom’s novel subtractive therapy to meaningfully address this advanced cancer that frequently evades standard treatments and represents a significant global unmet medical need. In addition, under the agreement, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies will be the exclusive distributor in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain with potential for future geographic expansion.

Breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the most diagnosed cancer worldwide with 1 in 8 women diagnosed in their lifetime.1,2 TNBC is the most aggressive of breast cancers, accounting for approximately 15% of all breast cancers, and is difficult to treat.3 Each year there are over 2 million newly diagnosed breast cancer patients worldwide, over 110,000 of them in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.4,5

“Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies has supported Immunicom from its beginning in 2013,” said Amir Jafri, Founder and CEO of Immunicom. “With their strong global presence and shared commitment to advancing standards of care through innovation, they were the natural choice to strategically partner with on the international commercialization of our flagship immunotherapy offering. With the LW-02 Column being only the first of many platform-based subtractive therapies under development at Immunicom, we see very strong long-term growth potential in further expanding this relationship.”  

“Imagine if someone who is battling late-stage breast cancer could mitigate the effects of chemotherapy, spending their final days actively engaging with those they love, shaping their final memories,” said Antoinette Gawin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies. “That’s why we are combining our technology with Immunicom’s – to bring this to life.”

Subtractive Therapy – Immunopheresis®
Immunicom’s innovative Immunopheresis approach uses plasma-filtration columns to extract specific immune-suppressive cytokines that are produced by solid cancer tumors. These targeted cytokines are selectively removed with the intention of neutralizing the cancer’s ability to block a patient’s natural immune defense mechanisms, which are significantly compromised in late-stage, metastatic disease. This potentially re-energizes the immune system to fight cancers. Immunopheresis is a “subtractive therapy,” in contrast to alternative drugs that constitute “additive” therapies. Subtractive therapy is designed to avoid the side effects, toxicity, and negative impact on a patient’s quality of life that are typical of other cancer treatments. For more information on Immunopheresis see: https://www.immunicom.com/how-it-works.

Spectra Optia® Apheresis System
The Spectra Optia Apheresis System from Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a versatile therapeutic apheresis and cell collection platform that enables multiple protocols, including connection to various secondary plasma devices (SPDs) such as Immunicom’s LW-02 Column, using the Therapeutic Plasma Exchange-SPD procedure. Spectra Optia separates plasma from the patient’s blood and passes the plasma through the LW-02 Column, which then selectively removes and reduces the targeted cytokines. The treated plasma is recombined with the rest of the blood and then returned to the patient. Spectra Optia is currently used in over 100 countries.

  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/breast-cancer
  2. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about/how-common-is-breast-cancer.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6744285/ 
  4. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer 
  5. https://gco.iarc.fr/today/home 

Product and protocol availability varies by country.

About Immunicom
Immunicom, Inc. creates novel immunotherapies designed to treat a variety of diseases using its breakthrough Immunopheresis® technology platform to improve patient access and affordability. The privately held medical technology company develops innovative, non-pharmaceutical approaches for treating cancer, autoimmune disorders, and inflammatory and renal diseases. Immunicom’s revolutionary blood-filtering Immunopheresis technology has the potential to effectively treat a wide variety of cancer types, including those that have not responded to other treatment strategies, with possibly fewer side effects. Immunicom’s lead product, the LW-02 Column, has received U.S. FDA Breakthrough Device designation for stage IV metastatic cancer and European regulatory clearance (CE Mark certification) for use in adults with advanced, refractory, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Immunopheresis is currently being evaluated in several global oncology trials for multiple cancers. Immunicom is headquartered in San Diego, CA with operations in Houston, TX, Philadelphia, PA, and Krakow, Poland.

About Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a medical technology company. Our products, software and services enable customers to collect and prepare blood and cells to help treat challenging diseases and conditions. Our employees around the world believe in the potential of blood and cells to do even more for patients than they do today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers.

Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies’ customers include blood centers, hospitals, therapeutic apheresis clinics, cell collection and processing organizations, researchers, and private medical practices. Our customers are based in over 130 countries across the globe. We have 750+ granted patents, with more than 150 additionally pending.

We have global headquarters in Lakewood, Colo., U.S.A., along with five regional headquarters, seven manufacturing sites and six innovation and development centers across the globe. Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a subsidiary of Terumo Corporation (TSE: 4543), a global leader in medical technology.

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