January 9, 2012

Technology for cancer immune therapies licensed to NexImmune

Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer has granted a license for Artificial Immune nanotechnology to NexImmune, a startup company formed in part by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine faculty members who are also involved in the development of the technology. AIM, which involves engineering artificial cells to stimulate specific immune responses, represents a potentially important advance in the development of immunotherapies for a variety of cancers and other diseases.

Central to AIM technology is the artificial antigen–presenting cell developed in the laboratory of Jonathan Schneck, a professor of pathology, oncology and medicine, and director of the Human Immunology Program at the Institute for Cellular Engineering. Natural antigen–presenting cells direct the immune system cells in attacks on targeted antigens and cells. However, under certain disease conditions, APCs can be damaged, absent or inactive. The AIM technology holds potential for use in immunotherapy because artificial APCs can be engineered to orchestrate the immune system in a highly specific attack.

NexImmune was founded by the faculty inventors of the AIM technology at Johns Hopkins and a team of entrepreneurs affiliated with Noble Life Sciences in Gaithersburg, Md., where the company is located.