mRNA study with mice imminent
"We continue to believe that Accum™ is capable of improving the efficacy of mRNA vaccines. This holds potential for new vaccines, but also for projects that were once considered to have failed and could regain competitiveness again thanks to Accum™," Sébastien Plouffe, CEO of Defence Therapeutics, stated in late July. Now, the Company has released the initial details that are causing a stir: the combination of Accum™ and an mRNA vaccine against cancer provides twice the antibody response than a "naked" vaccine without the Accum™ technology.
Defence Therapeutics anticipates that it can secure a significant portion of the growing mRNA therapeutics market in the future. mRNA technology is considered easy to produce and effective. Therefore, adjuvant technologies such as Defence Therapeutics' internationally patented Accum™ will likely gain importance. In the most recently completed study, the Company encapsulated an mRNA vaccine with Accum™ in the form of so-called lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). Based on the knowledge now gained, various LNP concentrations will be tested to further optimize the efficacy of the combination of Accum™ and mRNA vaccines. Once researchers have identified an optimal dose, Defence Therapeutics plans to test the drug combination in mice with established cancer tumors. Additionally, a combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors like Anti-PD-1 may be used to enhance efficacy further.
Defence Therapeutics has further potential with mRNA processes
the mRNA market is expected to grow by 13.2% each year, according to market researchers.
Defence Therapeutics' latest corporate announcement highlights the versatility of Accum™ and demonstrates that the Company could be a future leader around mRNA vaccines. Market research firm Precedence Research projects that the mRNA therapeutics market could grow by 13.2% annually through 2032. The market could then total USD 137.6 billion. The 2-fold increase in antibody concentration when administered with an mRNA vaccine combined with Accum™ is already a strong indication that Accum™ technology can increase the efficacy of mRNA vaccines. Ultimately, however, the results need to be confirmed in the context of further studies.
By comparison, with BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, antibody titers were four to seven times higher in vaccinated individuals compared to unvaccinated individuals. Since Defence Therapeutics is yet to determine the optimal LNP concentration and Accum™ should, in principle, be combinable with other methods to increase mRNA vaccine efficacy, Defence Therapeutics' latest announcement is nevertheless positive. Defence Therapeutics believes that Accum™ will enhance the stability of mRNA molecules by strengthening their structural integrity, improving their bioaccumulation, and facilitating efficient translation into target cells.
Phase I studies and Orano collaboration: Accum™ scores in many areas
In addition to the use of Accum™ as an adjuvant technology in mRNA vaccines, the patented approach by Defence Therapeutics plays a crucial role in several other projects. In the coming months, the Company will begin Phase I trials around its Accum™ chemotherapeutic and ARM vaccine for hard-to-cure cancers, such as ovarian and pancreatic cancer. While in the case of AccuTOX™, it is clear that the renowned research hospital City of Hope in the greater Los Angeles area will oversee the trial, Defence Therapeutics is still searching for a partner in the US for the ARM trial. Negotiations are ongoing. An agreement is already in place with Jewish General Hospital in Montreal to conduct the Canadian portion of the study. "The ARM project is very important to us, and we are pushing ahead with it decisively. We could demonstrate that our technology achieves effects even with hard-to-treat cancers. In addition, we can easily modulate the vaccine to cover different scenarios," says Plouffe.
With its versatile projects, Defence Therapeutics could soon attract interest from larger biotechs or pharmaceutical companies. Defence has already won over the healthcare division of French nuclear company Orano - a fruitful collaboration between the two companies has been underway for several months. Here, too, the focus is on the ability of Accum™ to deliver active ingredients of various forms into cells effectively. "This opens up new possibilities for companies like Orano in terms of dosages and treatment regimens," comments Plouffe on the collaboration, noting that both companies are undertaking further testing with Accum™ and Orano's compounds.
Interim conclusion: Musical chairs - Stock could be in sudden demand
Thanks to Defence Therapeutics' various projects, investors can expect a steady newsflow in the coming weeks and months. It cannot be ruled out that this will also include the one announcement that will entice large companies to consider a takeover bid or extensive cooperation with Defence Therapeutics. "We expect that once we publish our Accum™ comparative study around mRNA vaccines, the chances of a full-scale deal or at least a collaboration with larger companies will increase rapidly," Plouffe stated as recently as late July. While promising indications remain that Accum™ could give mRNA vaccines a leg up in the future, the bigger picture is becoming more complete with each additional study. Defence Therapeutics is extremely interesting due to its numerous synergistic projects centered around its internationally patented Accum™ technology. The stock also appears to have found a bottom at its current levels.
The update is based on the initial Report 12/2021