The University of California (UC) Berkeley and Aduro Biotech, Inc. recently announced the launch of a collaborative Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI), combining the university’s research capacities with the company’s expertise in immunotherapy discovery and development, including such novel platforms as LADD technology, being developed to treat cancers, including mesothelioma, and autoimmune diseases.
The initiative is founded on the interplay between cancer and infectious disease research, and how knowledge regarding infectious diseases can inform the development of anti-cancer therapies.
IVRI is the first immunotherapy-focused initiative by UC Berkeley, and it was officially launched with a reception on March 24, 2016, at the UC campus. It relies on the extensive research by university scientists and is expected, through a collaborative efforts by researchers, and their collaborators and sponsors, to result in ground-breaking discoveries, therapeutic approaches, and vaccine strategies.
“In the last several years, we have learned so much about the role of the immune system in treating disease, and we look forward to harnessing that information across both research and industry to develop innovative new treatment options to improve patient care,” David Raulet, faculty director of the IVRI and a professor of mmunology and Pathogenesis at UC Berkeley, said in a press release. “Through this initiative, we will leverage our powerful research networks to understand how we can better engage the immune system in treating cancer, infectious disease and autoimmune disease.
“By doing this, we hope to develop new methods for targeting and effectively controlling many different cancers, autoimmune and infectious diseases. Our goal is for these findings to pave the way for the development of innovative new treatment options,” Dr. Raulet said.
Aduro Biotech will provide UC Berkeley with $7.5 million in research funding over the next three years, a figure and timeline that can be increased and extended. Moreover, researchers at UC Berkeley will have access to the company’s technology platforms, such as LADD, STING Pathway Activators and B-select monoclonal antibodies, which are all aimed at improving the body’s natural immune system.
The LADD technology platform relies on proprietary and modified strains of the bacterium Listeria, which express tumor-associated antigens to induce specific immune responses. Clinical data for this platform in advanced cancers is promising, and it is being developed to treat cancers such as mesothelioma and glioblastoma, and of the pancreas, lung and prostate.