The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), through the SickKids Industry Partnerships & Commercialization Office, has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Providence Therapeutics for an immunotargeting technology platform. This platform provides an approach to generating adjuvant-free vaccines and works by targeting Antigen Presenting Cells (APC’s) of the immune system via the MHC Class II molecules on their surface. This can result in an enhanced immune response to antigens which are coupled to the targeting monoclonal antibody (mAb).
The innovation builds on pioneering work done by Dr. Brian Barber, Professor Emeritus of Immunology at the University of Toronto, and has been extensively augmented and refined in the laboratory of Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien, Senior Scientist in the Molecular Medicine program at SickKids. The versatile technology platform can generate both monovalent and multivalent therapeutics in a broad field of applications, including vaccines. With additional features, such as incorporating T-cell epitopes with the aim of generating a broader and longer immune response, the technology can engage both the humoral and cellular components of the immune system.
“We are excited to identify and potentially develop further novel applications for our immunotargeting technology, which provides an alternative to the use of adjuvants in vaccines,” says Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien, the co-inventor of the technology.
In 2021, Dr. Julien was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 for his contributions to antibody and immunotherapy research.
“This opportunity, emerging from Drs. Julien and Barber’s research, is an example of how SickKids Industry Partnerships & Commercialization is working to support promising research and to provide access to commercialization partners to the robust research and clinical innovation ecosystem at SickKids,” says Ihor Boszko, Executive Director, SickKids Industry Partnerships & Commercialization.
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