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Repertoire Immune Medicines, MSK Partner to Study Immunogenic Profile in HPV-Positive Cancers

NEW YORK – Repertoire Immune Medicines has announced a research partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering to study immune system responses in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive cancer.

For its part of the collaboration, Repertoire will use its Decode platform to home in on specific tumor antigens, T cells, and T-cell receptors (TCRs) that recognize tumor antigens among HPV-positive cancer patients who respond to therapy. The platform, which includes a suite of experimental and computational technologies, is designed to identify T-cell receptor-antigen pairs, T-cell function, and the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules that present these antigens to the immune system.

Repertoire designed the platform to help develop therapies that take advantage of immune vulnerabilities. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm has several such therapies in development, including investigational autologous T-cell therapies for HPV-16-positive advanced cancers and for patients with relapsed or refractory metastatic solid tumors.

The partners aim to identify the TCRs that are engaged when patients respond to treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and, in later-stage cancers anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors. They hope that finding the cancer-specific epitopes and the T-cells that recognize them among patients who respond to therapy will shed light on the immunogenic profiles that are most likely to facilitate treatment response. Better characterizing these immunogenic profiles could, in turn, inform treatment decisions for patients.

"The goal of this research collaboration … is to identify the TCR-antigen pairs that are activated when the immune system is successful in fighting HPV-positive cancers," Anthony Coyle, president of R&D at Repertoire, said in a statement. "This discovery may lead to new cell therapies and give us insight into why some patients respond successfully to currently available treatments, while others have poor or no response to treatment."