Cancer Vaccines: Promise In The Pipeline

22 Oct

By Lucy Parkinson, Senior Research Manager, LSN

Cancer immunotherapy technologies frequently star in biotech news headlines. Scientists have pursued many approaches intended to enlist the immune system to fight tumors, including CAR-T therapies and checkpoint inhibitors. Cancer vaccine technology is one of the technologies under this broader immuno-oncologic umbrella. This approach entails using one or more immunogenic antigens to teach the immune system to attack tumors.

As a recent article in Xconomy highlighted, there are no approved products that use this approach to fighting cancer. However, using the LSN Company Platform we can identify many companies worldwide that are developing the cancer vaccines that could come into clinical use in the future.

The LSN Company Platform provides detailed profiles on early-stage life science companies and products under development worldwide. From this data, we took a sample of vaccine companies developing therapeutics for the oncology sector. This sample consisted of 69 companies. While a significant number of these companies are based in the USA, we also found information on companies developing cancer vaccines throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

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Source: LSN Company Platform, Data as of Oct. 21, 2015

Only 5 cancer vaccine assets in this sample are currently undergoing Phase III trials. This affirms the perception that cancer vaccine technology is a field that is approaching maturity; the many early-stage assets identified by the LSN Company Platform show the field’s potential, but few cancer vaccine assets are likely to reach market in the near term. However, investors interested in early stage immuno-oncology assets will be closely watching the field’s progress.

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Source: LSN Company Platform, Data as of Oct. 21, 2015

On the topic of investors, the LSN Investor Platform tracks investors both by indication area (such as cardiovascular, respiratory or cancer) and also by technology types of interest (such as small molecules, antibodies or vaccines); this means that we can use the platform to identify investors who are open to considering both vaccines and cancer. Our data set includes over 500 investors who are open to considering development-stage products in both of these two fields, thus representing a broad universe of potential investors for a cancer vaccine company. Much like the emerging companies in this field, these investors span the globe:

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Source: LSN Investor Platform, Data as of Oct. 21, 2015

Multiple investor types are open to investing in cancer vaccines. Venture capital and private equity firms predominate, but we see significant potential interest from other types of investor, including large healthcare corporations and their venture arms.

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Source: LSN Investor Platform, Data as of Oct. 21, 2015

With this level of global investor opportunity, cancer vaccine companies have many potential sources of capital to move their assets forward. LSN will look forward to seeing cancer vaccine technology mature and reach the marketplace in the years ahead.

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