RhoVac AB ("RHOVAC") today, 18th May 2022, announces preclinical findings from its collaboration with St. John's Research Institute (SJRI), a unit of CBCI Society for Medical Education, in Bangalore India. These findings support the hypothesised tissue agnostic mode of action of onilcamotide. The findings identify the crucial MHC-II expression in more tumour cells than was previously known, and they also show co-localisation of the MHC-II receptors and onilcamotide's target protein, RhoC.
In order for a T-cell based cancer vaccine to work, it must be able to induce T cell recognition and elimination of cells expressing one or several target proteins (antigens). These are typically presented by the cells either via receptors called MHC-I or MHC-II. RhoVac's cancer vaccine candidate, onilcamotide, is predominantly driven by T cells of the CD4+ sub-type, and these cells require the antigen to be presented by MHC-II receptors. The pre-clinical study collaboration with Dr Sweta Srivastava, a faculty within St. Johns National Academy of Health Sciences (St. John's Research Institute), CBCI, has now shown that these types of receptors (MHC-II) are found in many different forms of cancer cells, and that RhoC appears to be co-located with these receptors on the cell surface. The data suggests that onilcamotide is tissue agnostic, i.e., that it could be used across cancer types. The data has even documented the presence of MHC-II receptors in more types of cancer than previously known. Fore reference, please find a first article on the findings here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.05.15.492002v1.full.pdf.