Vaccine: IMA901
Company: Immatics Biotechnologies
Target: Renal cell carcinoma

About 90% of renal cell carcinomas, a form of kidney cancer, can be cured by surgery if they are caught early enough, but for cancers that spread, the prognosis is not so good.

Immatics' kidney cancer vaccine, IMA901, and the company's lead program, is made up of 10 synthetic versions of naturally occurring tumor-associated peptides (TUMAPs). These were identified, selected, and validated using the company's XPRESIDENT platform, to create a broad-spectrum immune response. It is the first multipeptide therapeutic cancer vaccine for this indication.

In a clinical trial of the vaccine, people with renal cell carcinoma who produced a broad immune response to the immunotherapeutic were more likely to control the disease better, and survived longer.

The patients more likely to respond to the vaccine could potentially be selected using two biomarkers. The company's Phase III vaccine will look at the predictive power of the biomarkers, as well as the efficacy of the vaccine. Initial results are expected in 2014 and final results in early 2015.