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Incredibly Efficient Production of Peptides Vaccines for Cancer

Incredibly Efficient Production of Peptide Vaccines for Cancer

November 9, 2018

Cancer is a widespread disease that is challenging to treat due to its inherent differences between individuals. Thus, cancer drug therapies that may work for someone may not be effective for another. Recognition of cancer’s uniqueness has led many researchers to explore personalized medicine based therapies that account for individual differences.

Present on the surface of cells in the body are peptides called antigens. Antigens are the body's tool for recognizing foreign invaders that target the immune system. Cancer cells are difficult to recognize since they are not foreign, but rather damaged cells from the host. However, their antigens, called neoantigens, are slightly different due to mutations that are present.

With the advent of next generation DNA sequencing technologies, it is now possible to routinely scan the sequences of healthy and tumor cells for specific differences that might result in neoantigens.1 Combining this with advanced software algorithms leads to identification of a group of neoantigens to target with a peptide vaccine. The peptide vaccines can then potentially trigger the immune system to recognize an individuals cancer cells from normal healthy cells.

Efficient synthesis of peptide vaccines thus becomes essential for enabling the use of individualized neoantigen-based therapies for cancer treatment. The predominant technology for synthesizing peptides is solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) developed in 1963 by Dr. Bruce Merrifield. This process was a huge breakthrough in synthesizing peptides for which Dr. Merrifield received the Noble Prize in 1984. While invaluable for its ability to make peptides, the process suffers from slow and incomplete reactions and large quantities of waste generated.

CEM has pioneered new technology drastically improving traditional SPPS. It is based on pioneering work in the use of microwave energy for enhancing synthesis efficiency and a new one-pot methodology that eliminates > 90% of the process waste. The Liberty PRIME peptide synthesizer developed in 2018 is the culmination of these efforts and provides unmatched automated high- throughput synthesis of peptide vaccines. Using the Liberty PRIME, peptide vaccines are synthesized with incredible speed, purity, and chemical efficiency.

  • Incredibly high purities

  • Fastest synthesis time available

  • Lowest waste produced with patented “one-pot” deprotection/coupling step

1DeWeerdt, S. “Calling cancer’s bluff with Neoantigen Vaccines” Nature Outook, Dec. 20th, 2017; https://www.nature. com/articles/d41586-017-08706-3

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