PHILLIPSBURG, N.J., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. and the international Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) today announced a multi-year clinical research collaboration focusing on a series of tumor- associated antigens (TAAs) for use in Celldex's Antigen Presenting Cell (APC) Targeting Technology(TM). These antigens, previously identified and characterized immunologically by LICR, will add substantially to new Celldex development programs for a range of cancer types. Three of these antigens (NY-ESO-1, MAGE3, and MelanA) are being studied in non-small cell lung, ovarian, and bladder cancers, as well as melanoma, in an extended series of Phase I/II programs conducted by the LICR and its collaborators. The collaboration will encompass the development of next-generation immunotherapies using Celldex's proprietary APC targeting monoclonal antibodies and the Ludwig TAAs. These development candidates will be available to LICR for evaluation within the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC) worldwide clinical research network, a collaboration between the LICR and the leading cancer charity, the New York-based Cancer Research Institute. "The Celldex technology is a novel approach to inducing a patient's immune system to fight cancer," said Jonathan C.A. Skipper, Ph.D., Executive Director for Intellectual Property & Technology Licensing at the Ludwig Institute. "This system has the potential to deliver TAAs precisely to the right cells, in contrast to other TAA delivery technologies. The CVC is very much looking forward to exploring this promising TAA delivery approach in its early-phase clinic trials." "We are pleased to announce this agreement with the Ludwig Institute, an acknowledged academic leader in the field of cancer immunotherapy, as a key addition to our cancer development programs," said Robert Burns, Ph.D., President and CEO of Celldex Therapeutics. "With the licensing of this important portfolio of clinically-validated cancer antigens, we strengthen our commitment to developing innovative immunotherapies against a wide variety of oncology targets, employing our unique APC targeted delivery methodology." About the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) is the largest international academic institute dedicated to understanding and controlling cancer. Headquartered in New York, and with one Center for Clinical Sciences and nine Branches in seven countries, the scientific network that is LICR spans the globe. LICR has developed an impressive portfolio of reagents, knowledge, expertise, and intellectual property, and has also assembled the personnel, facilities, and practices necessary to patent, clinically evaluate, license, and thus translate, the most promising aspects of its own laboratory research into cancer therapies. About the Cancer Research Institute The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is a non-profit organization that funds research aimed at furthering the development of immunological approaches to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer. CRI's research programs are designed to recognize and support those researchers around the world who are focused on this area. Today, CRI provides funding at every level of scientific inquiry, from coordinated clinical trials to the most basic research, and supports scientists at all career levels. About the APC Targeting Technology The foundation of Celldex Therapeutics' Antigen Presenting Cell (APC) Targeting Technology(TM) is the ability of the Company's proprietary antibodies to deliver agents to specific cellular components of the immune system. In particular, Celldex has developed antibodies that possess unique characteristics for delivering antigens directly to professional APCs, dendritic cells and macrophages that we believe will generate rapid and heightened immune responses. By effectively targeting antigens (or other agents) to these specialized cells of the immune system, Celldex's product candidates can transform even weakly immunogenic antigens into effective targets for immunotherapy, and circumvent the need for individualized ex vivo dendritic cell manipulation. About Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on developing fully human antibody-based products that target and stimulate the body's immune system for the treatment of cancer, infectious and autoimmune diseases. The Company's lead product, CDX-110, is scheduled to have entered a definitive Phase 2/3 clinical trial for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma by early 2007. Celldex has three product candidates already in or about to enter clinical development targeting multiple cancers as well as Hepatitis B. Four additional product candidates are in preclinical development for cancer and autoimmune disease. Celldex's proprietary technology platform uses fully human monoclonal antibodies administered directly to patients to target and stimulate dendritic cells - key cells within the immune system. Celldex was formed in 2004 as a spin-out from Medarex, Inc (Nasdaq: MEDX). The Company is headquartered in Phillipsburg, New Jersey and also has R&D operations in Cambridge, UK. For more information, please visit the website: http://www.celldextherapeutics.com .
SOURCE Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.