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Genocea Presents Data at AACR 2019 Supporting Utility of ATLAS™ Platform in Predicting Melanoma Patient Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

906 Days ago

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genocea Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNCA), a biopharmaceutical company developing neoantigen cancer immunotherapies, today announced the presentation of data from ATLAS™, its ex vivo platform for comprehensively profiling patients’ antigen-specific T cells responses, at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR 2019) taking place from Friday, March 29 to Wednesday, April 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Title:       ATLAS™ reveals a dominant inhibitory antigen in melanoma patients, and a reduced breadth of tumor-associated antigen-specific T cells in non-responders to checkpoint blockade
Summary:       Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have historically proven effective in only 20-40% of melanoma patients treated and, to date, significant efforts to identify biomarkers to predict response to ICIs have been unsuccessful. Using ATLAS, peripheral blood T cell responses from 32 melanoma patients, who were subsequently treated with ICIs, were profiled against a panel of 55 known melanoma tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) to determine if pre-existing T cell responses could predict outcomes from ICI treatment.

Poster Highlights:

  • Fewer antigen-specific responses were identified in non-responders than responders for both T cell subsets, with no stimulatory CD8+ T cell responses identified in non-responders prior to ICI therapy.
  • Data suggest that the breadth of T cell responses prior to therapy may be a useful tool for early prognosis of ICI efficacy, supporting observations from previous ATLAS studies.
  • Data also show that an antigen previously studied as a vaccine candidate was inhibitory in the majority of subjects, providing a possible explanation for failure during clinical development.

“ATLAS provides a powerful, non-invasive, blood-based platform for the interrogation of peripheral T cell responses,” said Jessica B. Flechtner, Ph.D., Genocea’s Chief Scientific Officer. “Our data show that melanoma patients who are non-responsive to ICI therapy have a limited T cell response to TAAs prior to treatment. Upon further refinement, patient-specific responses may allow for prediction of advanced melanoma patients for whom checkpoint therapy would prove successful.”

The poster (LB-223) is being presented today from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET in the Late-Breaking Research: Clinical Research 2 Session in Section 41.

About Genocea Biosciences, Inc.
Genocea's mission is to help conquer cancer by designing and delivering targeted cancer vaccines and immunotherapies. While traditional immunotherapy discovery methods have largely used predictive methods to propose T cell targets, or antigens, Genocea has developed ATLAS™, its proprietary technology platform, to identify clinically relevant antigens of T cells based on individual patient immune responses. Genocea’s lead neoantigen vaccine candidate, GEN-009, is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial. Genocea is also developing GEN-011, an investigational adoptive T cell therapy. For more information, please visit www.genocea.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the ability of Genocea’s proprietary technology to predict patient response to therapies, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Genocea cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties that change over time. Applicable risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading "Risk Factors" included in Genocea's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and any subsequent SEC filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and Genocea assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.

Jennifer LaVin

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