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Tumor Antigen Discovery: Targeting Cancer

To make more effective personalized cancer treatments for patients, we need to find the right targets to hit on tumor cells.


We’re on the hunt for more targeted cancer immunotherapy treatments. Treatments that kill cancer cells and leave normal cells alone. Treatments tailored to a specific cancer. Your cancer, even. That’s the ultimate goal in personalized medicine.

First, we have to find the right target. Something that distinguishes cancer from normal tissue.

Tumor neoantigens – a unique byproduct of mutating cancer cells – just might be the key.

Neoantigens: Red flags to the immune system

Antigens are bits of protein on a cell’s surface. Tumor cells that mutate create malformed proteins called neoantigens. They act like a red flag to the immune system, telling it something is awry.

If the immune system sees the red flag, it sends T-cells to hunt down and attack the tumor.

But there are thousands of red flags. The immune system doesn’t always see them and can’t always tell good from bad.

What We’re Doing

Enter PICI. Using genomics, predictive algorithms and artificial intelligence approaches, we’re figuring out which tumor antigens work best at waving down the immune system. Which antigens fire up the greatest immune response. Which will make the best target for a novel personalized cancer treatment, whether it’s a therapeutic cancer vaccine, CAR-T cell or other therapy.

With technology as our brush, we’re painting a target on cancer’s back.

Clinical Trials and Partnerships