TapImmune Inc. is a biotechnology company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. They specialize in the development of immunotherapeutic vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases. Their core business focus is on emerging technologies based on cellular immunology and genetic understanding of the cause and potential novel treatments of disease.
TapImmune Inc.’s lead product is the TAP vaccine. It performs a key step in moving characteristic markers called antigens to the surfaces of cells. Without TAP, there are no cancer markers. Therefore, the immune system fails to spot the rogue cells and the cancerous cells can grow undetected. In addition, the TAP molecule works as an adjuvant (accelerant) to enhance targeted vaccines against infectious diseases.
The Company is developing AdhTAP for the commencement of toxicology studies leading to the initiation of Phase I clinical trials. The expectation is that the global vaccine market will grow from $13 billion in 2007 to $21 billion in 2010. TapImmune Inc.’s strategy is to build a patented proprietary product pipeline and capitalize on the breadth of the TAP technology through collaborative partnerships and license agreements.
Their strategy also includes conducting preclinical vaccine programs and moving successes through to human trials. The Company is also working to discover, acquire, and develop technologies that modulate antigen presentation.
TapImmune bases their approaches to cancer treatment on increased knowledge of the human genome and immune system. Clinical studies to date have identified a large number of cancers deficient in TAP. TAP immunotherapy holds the potential of higher efficacy and lower side effects in cancer treatment and for protection of infectious diseases. In preclinical trials for melanoma and lung carcinoma, animal survival rates of 70 percent were achieved using TAP immunotherapy. Animal survival rates of 100 percent were achieved when TAP was administered ex-vivo.
In infectious disease, many vaccines require the use of adjuvants to generate adequate protective immunity to prevent or treat diseases. TapImmune’s vaccine adjuvant has shown 100 times greater potency than non-adjuvanted vaccines in animal studies when combined with vaccines.
Last Thursday, TapImmune Inc. announced that they signed a license agreement with Crucell N.V. Crucell has a broad development pipeline, with several product candidates based on its unique PER.C6(R) production technology. Under the license, TapImmune may use the proprietary PER.C6(R) cells in their development programs. The PER.C6(R) cell line is the best-documented cell line for vaccine development to date. The PER.C6(R) cell line is ideally suited for the development and large-scale manufacturing of a multitude of biopharmaceuticals. The partnership between TapImmune and Crucell is important for the production of TapImmune’s vaccine products.