Ardigen, ImmuMap and Pepscan kick-off collaboration for T-cell receptor discovery

Ardigen. ImmuMap and Pepscan recently kicked off their collaboration. The research study, called Creating an innovative AI-based (artificial intelligence) in silico technology TCRact to launch a new service for designing and optimizing T-cell receptors (TCR) for use in cancer immunotherapies, is partly funded through a grant obtained by Ardigen from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund under the Intelligent Development Program. 

The scope of the collaboration will revolve around the identification of T-cell receptors reactive towards newly identified neoantigens of solid-tumor patients. The project will expand Ardigen’s capabilities in accelerating TCR-based therapy discovery and development using artificial intelligence.

ImmuMap will conduct laboratory experiments to better understand the link between T-cell specificity, related activity and the T-cell receptor sequence. Pepscan will use its 25 years of experience in peptide synthesis to deliver large quantities of custom neoantigen peptides that meet ImmuMap’s quality requirements for successful ELISpot analysis in short timelines.

“We are proud to support this research collaboration with our neoantigen peptide synthesis capabilities – which has become a driving force in the development of new cancer immunotherapies,” explains Anna Degen, Product Specialist in Personalized Peptides. Hans de Backer, CEO of Pepscan adds, “The peptides are manufactured by our experienced and well-trained staff using our high-end equipment for purification and analysis. We will provide quality peptides within the short timeframes that are required for ImmuMap’s experimental setup, and we look forward to contributing to the success of the project!”

About Ardigen

Ardigen is harnessing advanced Artificial Intelligence methods for novel precision medicine. The company accelerates therapy development by designing immunity, decoding microbiome, analysing biomedical images and providing digital drug discovery services. Ardigen’s team is rooted in biology and holds deep expertise in bioinformatics, machine learning, and software engineering. The company’s in-house datasets together with advanced AI platforms empower the development of effective precision therapies. ArdImmune Vax AI Platform uses sequencing data to generate and prioritize antigen targets of cancer vaccines and T-cell therapies. TCRact AI Platform is designed to assess target fitness for the use in TCR therapy, suggest TCR sequence improvements, detect potential off-target activity of TCR, and generate novel TCR sequences matching the desired specificity and safety profile. https://www.ardigen.com

About ImmuMap

ImmuMap, founded in 2016, offers bespoke solutions within cellular immunity analysis based on flow cytometry assays and enzyme- or fluorescence-linked immunospot (ELISpot/fluorospot) for immune monitoring and consulting. Staffed by PhD-level scientists and co-founded by immune technology key opinion leader Sine Reker Hadrup, our business has extensive scientific and methodological expertise at its core, which allow us to be the perfect partner for our customers. We have developed several platforms for high-throughput screening and profiling of antigen-specific T cells, including the Deep Profiling assay, providing multilayered characterization of specific T cell populations, and the dCODE™ platform, used for parallel identification and enumeration of 50–1183 different T cell specificities. (www.immumap.com)

About Pepscan

Pepscan is an all-in-one partner in peptides, building on 25 years of experience in advancing and applying peptide expertise to facilitate customers in the development and production of peptides. At its end-to-end facility in Lelystad, the Netherlands, Pepscan offers a range of patented technologies, phage display capabilities, a lead-optimization array platform, and production facilities for R&D- to GMP-grade peptides, including libraries and neoantigen vaccines. Among its patents is the CLIPS™ technology, which locks peptides into active conformations. Pepscan has a proven track record as neoantigen supplier: from peptide pools conform GMP to large crude or purified peptide libraries, for applications ranging from personalized anti-cancer vaccines, through training cell-based immunotherapies, to pre- or post-therapeutic target validation.