Enhancing the visibility of specific target antigens and making them more widely recognized by a patient’s immune system is a critical aspect of an effective vaccine. In this regard, TapImmune’s PolyStart™ an enabling nucleic acid-based technology that increases the potency of vaccines by conferring a four-fold increase in the expression of target-cell-specific, naturally processed antigenic epitopes on a cells surface. This enhanced antigen presentation boosts helper and/or long-lived killer T-cell populations, which then effectively seek out and destroy the targeted cells.
To do this, the proprietary PolyStart sequence (which contains a series of non-conventional mRNA translation start codons) is directly linked to a poly-antigen array (PAA) portion encoding one or more antigens that correspond to the target molecule of interest. Translation of the protein product(s) initiates at each of the mRNA start codons, resulting in multiple translation products from a single template. The abundant translation products are then naturally processed through the proteasome and presented on the cell surface.
The below data from a study incorporating vaccinia virus Class I antigens into PAA demonstrates the increased presentation and subsequent KILLING of the targeted cell population.
This proprietary technology was invented and is fully owned by TapImmune and has applications in immuno-oncology as well as other areas such as infectious disease. It can be applied to the company’s current T-cell vaccine candidates as well as drive incremental value for TapImmune through strategic out-licensing and/or collaboration with other companies.