May 6, 2020
A collaboration project between Frame Therapeutics and two clinical parties from the University Medical Centers in Amsterdam (Amsterdam UMC) and Groningen (UMCG) with a total research budget of 1.2 million Euros has received the Kansen voor West grant to cover 40% of the project named ‘Framome’. Kansen voor West is a subsidy that is part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF stimulates regional economies and innovative collaborations between (small and medium-sized) businesses, knowledge institutions and government bodies; a good fit with this consortium that combines specific knowledge on bioinformatics, big data analysis and genome sequencing with clinical expertise, specifically in pancreatic and lung oncology.
Frame Therapeutics focuses on the development of vaccines for the treatment of cancer, based on so-called ‘FRAME neoantigens’ (FRAMES). The immune system recognizes FRAMES as proteins on the surface of tumor cells that emerge as a result of errors in the DNA of a cancer patient (Frameshifts). Frame Therapeutics’ platform ‘FramePro’ combines cutting-edge sequencing methods with novel bioinformatics technologies to analyze the DNA and RNA of the tumor and identify FRAMES. The consortium will test the platform using samples of pancreatic and lung tumor tissue. The project findings will be an important step towards developing a personalized cancer vaccine, based on the FRAMES specific for the tumor, that may elicit strong anti-tumor immune responses. The first clinical tests in patients are expected to start next year and aim to offer an immunotherapy that contributes to major clinical benefits with minimal side effects and toxicities.
Prof. dr. Marc Besselink (oncological surgeon, Amsterdam UMC): “Pancreatic cancer is characterized by an aggressive disease course. It is still one of the deadliest types of cancer, with hardly any new therapies available. We are delighted to be awarded this collaborative project to test whether Frame neoantigens are widely present in pancreatic tumors and could form the basis for the development of new, personalized FRAME vaccines.”
Prof. dr. Harry Groen (lung oncologist, UMC Groningen): “Immunotherapy is already widely used in patients with metastatic lung cancer. However, the response to immunotherapy is not optimal for a large number of patients. This project will help us gain insight in the potential of using Frame neoantigens as targets for new therapeutic lung cancer vaccines.”
Dr. Wigard Kloosterman (Chief Scientific Officer, Frame Therapeutics): “This ERDF project enables us to lay the groundwork for a completely new concept of immunotherapy. Our FramePro technology approaches the reading of the DNA and RNA of a tumor in a unique manner. We will be looking at the occurrence of FRAMES in pancreas and lung tumors on an unprecedented large scale. This is an important step towards the clinical testing of Frame vaccines."
Frame Therapeutics is a privately funded biotechnology startup, located at the Amsterdam Science Park and founded by Prof. dr. Ronald Plasterk, Prof. dr. Bob Löwenberg and Prof. dr. Dinko Valerio in December 2018. The company focuses on developing a proprietary approach for immunotherapy against cancer, based on precise analysis of the DNA and RNA of the tumor of a patient, and using that information to supply the best vaccine against properties specific for the tumor. The strong anti-tumor immune response elicited by FRAME vaccines may contribute to major clinical benefits for patients with cancer.
Amsterdam UMC is the collaboration of both university medical centers of Amsterdam that was founded in 2018, after the administrative merge of the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center and the Amsterdam Medical Center. Project partners involved on behalf of Amsterdam UMC are Prof. dr. Marc Besselink, pancreas surgeon and expert in pancreatic oncology; Dr. Jan Koster, specialist in the fields of bioinformatics and big data; Dr. Maarten Bijlsma, coordinator of the pancreas biobank and pancreatic- and esophageal cancer specialist.
University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is an advanced medical center with extended experience and history in oncological research. Project partners involved on behalf of UMCG are Prof. dr. Harry Groen, expert in lung oncology and project lead of numerous lung cancer studies; Prof. dr. Wim Timens, pathologist; Dr. Leon van Kempen, medical biologist.
For more information please contact Frame Therapeutics:
+31 (0)20 237 49 70
April 22, 2020
Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Niel (Belgium)
Frame Therapeutics happily announces a new research collaboration with eTheRNA immunotherapies NV (eTheRNA) to develop mRNA cancer vaccines against immunogenic neoantigens.
eTheRNA is a Belgian clinical-stage company developing vaccines and immunotherapies from its proprietary mRNA TriMix platform. The collaboration aims to develop a new generation of off-the-shelf neoantigen cancer vaccines by combining each company’s immunotherapy expertise and unique technologies. Frame Therapeutics will contribute the discovery and development of the highly immunogenic frameshift neoantigens that are only expressed in specific tumor types and thus offer a new level of patient and tumor specificity. eTheRNA will apply its vaccination technology platform to elicit anti-tumor T-cell responses based by employing its clinically validated TriMix mRNA platform.
Ronald Plasterk, CEO of Frame Therapeutics commented: “Our business is focused on discovery of new antigens for cancer vaccination. Our neoantigens form a good match with eTheRNA’s TriMix technology. By combining the best content with the best vaccine platform we are confident to make a major step forward in cancer therapeutic vaccines”.
Steven Powell, CEO of eTheRNA immunotherapies commented: “Frame Therapeutics’ work with neoantigens is impressive and we see a natural fit with our TriMix platform. We look forward to studying the clinical potential of delivering neoantigens to tumors and opening a new chapter in cancer immunotherapy”.
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About Frame Therapeutics
Frame Therapeutics is a privately funded startup company in the Amsterdam Science Park founded in December 2018. Frame Therapeutics’ goal is to develop its proprietary approach for immunotherapy against cancer, which is based on precise analysis of the DNA and RNA of the tumor of a patient, and using that information to supply the best vaccine against properties specific for the tumor. The strong anti-tumor immune response elicited by Frame vaccines may contribute to major clinical benefits for patients with cancer.
About eTheRNA immunotherapies NV
eTheRNA immunotherapies NV is a clinical-stage company delivering innovative cancer immunotherapies from its proprietary mRNA-based TriMix platform. eTheRNA’s goal is to commercialize these immunotherapies to deliver long lasting clinical remission to cancer patients. eTheRNA was established in January 2013 as a spin-off from the VUB university in Belgium.
The TriMix platform, on which eTheRNA’s immunotherapies are based, comprises three mRNAs encoding proteins (caTLR4, CD40L and CD70) that work to deliver optimal activation of dendritic cells. These cells behave as immune response mediators and mobilize the immune system to attack cancer cells through inducing a T-cell response. Clinical proof of concept for TriMix-based immunotherapies has been established through an extensive dataset demonstrating clear clinical benefits in advanced melanoma patients.
About the Frame Technology
Frame Therapeutics’ neoantigen technology is based on the identification of a large number of shared neoantigens, which result from frameshift mutations in tumors. Although the majority of frameshift mutations occur at different positions in a gene, the resulting novel protein products are common to large numbers of tumors from different patients. Combined with the long stretches of novel amino acid sequences encoded by frameshifts, these neoantigens represent attractive and highly immunogenic targets for cancer immunotherapy.
September 13th, 2019
We are happy to report that Frame has found private investors, which will allow to bring the work into clinical testing.
July 15th, 2019
Based on a proposal ranked 'excellent', Frame Therapeutics B.V. obtained an SME instruments phase I grant to strengthen their business strategy towards market entry with personalized and off-the-shelf cancer vaccines for all cancer patients. Frame’s proposal scored in the top 5% out of almost 3,000 proposals submitted in this SME instruments funding round.
The SME instruments funding is available for 'top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists and provides support with funding opportunities and acceleration services.' Frame Therapeutics will use this support to further grow from an early startup (founded December 2018) to a clinical stage company that develops vaccines against the individual tumors of cancer patients. Frame vaccines are based on the DNA composition of the tumor, and in particular on FRAMES (neoantigens that result from frameshift mutations in genes in the tumor). With the SME grant (€50.000) the company can design strategies to strengthen its IP position, develop preclinical as well as clinical research plans, and define a portfolio of vaccine products for several major cancer types. The SME support brings Frame into a position where subsequent major investments allow execution of these plans.
April 29th, 2019
A Scientific Report by Koster and Plasterk, published on April 29th 2019, describes frame shifts in tumor driver genes. The frame shift mutations were found in public databases of over 10,000 different tumors from different cancer patients. These patients have nothing in common, except that they all have one or another form of cancer; that is the reason that they often have frame shift mutations in a small set of so-called ‘tumor driver’ genes. As a result they have often neoantigens (new peptides encoded) that are shared with many other cancer patients. In some tumor types ‘Frames’ (defined as neoantigen peptides encoded as result of a frame shift mutation) are found within one or only a few genes. This opens the possibility to design and manufacture anti-cancer vaccines in advance, to be used off the shelf without time lost for patients whose tumor DNA has been sequenced.
March 21, 2019
On the 21st of March, Matrix VII has been officially opened -with great festivities- by Amsterdam alderman of Economic Affairs Udo Kock. The building, designed by Ector Hoogstad architects, offers laboratory facilities for high-tech companies. Matrix VII is situated in Amsterdam Science Park. Today Amsterdam Science Park is the center par excellence when science and technology are involved.
February 1, 2019
On the 1st of February Frame was launched in the brand-new Matrix VII building with a bang! The building of Matrix VII is built to become the epicentre of science and biotech.
December 27, 2018
On the 27th of December 2018, Frame was officially founded by Ronald Plasterk, Dinko Valerio and Bob Lowenberg. The beginning of a new endeavour!
Ronald Plasterk, Founder and CEO of Frame filed the first of a series of patents early 2018. This was the first step to the start of Frame.