Frequently asked Questions.
We are a biotechnology company developing novel immunotherapy treatments for cancer and autoimmune disease, with operations in Europe, Australia, and the U.S.
We are the global leaders in Lymphocyte Activation Gene-3 (“LAG-3”), a cell surface molecule which plays a vital role in regulating T cells. Our objective is to harness and strengthen the power of patients’ own immune systems.
We have one pre-clinical product candidate and three clinical stage product candidates. We also continue to assess new LAG-3 opportunities
Our lead product is eftilagimod alpha (LAG-3Ig or IMP321), a first-in-class antigen presenting cell (APC) activator currently in combination clinical trials for breast cancer and melanoma (see Clinical Trials).
IMP731 is a depleting antibody intended to destroy LAG-3 expressing activated T cells involved in autoimmunity, being developed by partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
IMP701 is an antagonist antibody targeting the LAG-3 molecule on T cells with potential applications on the treatment of cancer, under development by our partner Novartis.
Our newest product candidate, IMP761, is an antibody against highly active immune cells in autoimmune diseases, currently in preclinical development.
Immutep, formerly Prima BioMed, was originally created as a mining company (Prima Resources) in Australia in 1987, and was first publicly traded in 1988 on the Australian Stock Exchange. The Company was repositioned as a biotechnology company in 2001 following the acquisition of the rights to develop technologies from the Austin Research Institute (now the Burnet Institute), including CVac™, an immunotherapeutic product candidate.
On 2 October 2014, Prima announced the acquisition of Immutep SA (Immutep), a private French biotechnology company.
The transaction was formalised at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders on 14 November 2014 and completed on 17 December 2014. On 1 December 2017, Prima BioMed formerly changed its name to Immutep following shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting on 17 November 2017.
Immutep’s corporate headquarters are in Sydney, Australia. Additional offices, operating subsidiaries are located in Germany, the United States and France.
LAG-3 stands for Lymphocyte Activation Gene-3 (LAG-3 or CD223), a protein which in humans is encoded by the LAG-3 gene. It is a cell surface molecule, which is involved in the regulation of T cells.
The LAG-3 protein controls the signaling between T cells and antigen presenting cells (APC’s). It has a unique dual mechanism of action, as an APC activator to stimulate the immune response and, in other applications, as a negative regulator of T cells to switch off the immune response.
In total, we have one preclinical product candidate and three clinical product candidates.
Our lead product candidate eftilagimod alpha is under clinical development in a Phase IIb chemoimmunotherapy clinical trial in metastatic breast cancer and in a Phase I clinical trial in combination with Keytruda in melanoma. Our partnered products include depleting and antagonist LAG-3 antibodies which are undergoing Phase I clinical trials. The newest product candidate IMP761 is under preclinical development.
We operate as a global company, and therefore, perform R&D in different countries. Clinical research is conducted in Australia and Europe and we have a laboratory facility in Paris.
Our current development strategy is to focus on our LAG-3 programs in order to bring our product candidates to commercialisation, either through our own clinical trials or through our various commercial partnerships. This requires ongoing funding and as an early stage biotechnology company we continually assess opportunities for supporting our product pipeline and R&D activities.
We are a globally active biotechnology company developing immunotherapeutic products for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Active collaborations are an integral part of our business and we have a number of collaborations underway with various corporations and academic institutions.
Our current product development pipeline includes partnerships with Eddingpharm, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis while we have several collaborations underway with the likes of CYTLIMIC in Japan and Monash Institute in Australia.
There are different patent families covering our pipeline of product candidates. Three families are licensed from Merck Serono and provide protection for the LAG-3 gene and antibodies. One family is co-owned with the French National Health and Medical Research Institute known as INSERM. This patent has been licensed to GSK.
The remaining patents are fully owned by Immutep and will provide broad and lengthy protection for the development of existing and new LAG-3 technologies.
For the LAG-3 patents, we have numerous patents that cover the LAG-3 gene, protein and antibodies. There are a multitude of method of composition and method of use claims.
There are claims covering modifications to the original gene sequence to allow generation of eftilagimod alpha and other LAG-3 derivatives. There are method of use claims covering the use of various LAG-3 reagents to treat autoimmunity and cancer and to cover different dosages. There is potential to use various LAG-3 products in different situations including with cell therapies, with or as antibodies, as an adjuvant, and in combination therapies.