Cancer vax maker tests closed-bag process

Los Angeles-based ImmunoCellular is using a new closed-bag system for production of its cancer vaccine candidate. The bag-based process, resulting from collaboration with the Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility at the University of Pennsylvania, is churning out ICT-107, the company's lead product candidate.

ICT-107 is a dendritic cell-based vaccine that targets multiple tumor-associated antigens for glioblastoma. The drug candidate is about to enter Phase II trials.

In the closed-bag system, a patient's white blood cells are the starting point for the production of dendritic cells, according to the company. Engineering and validation runs have confirmed the process for 20 or more doses of the vaccine from one blood collection.

The processing technology promises cost and convenience advantages over current vaccine-making methods, some of which are produced one dose at a time, the company says. Patients should be able to be treated for several years from just one manufacturing run, given that the dendritic cells can be frozen and used in follow-on treatment.

- here's the ImmunoCellular announcement