Immune Design’s quest for a cancer vaccine could go the distance

Developing a cancer vaccine is a tricky business. For many drugmakers, the path has been a long and challenging one.

Immune Design Corp.’s efforts could be the exception, said Leerink Partners analyst Jonathan Chang.

The company’s IMDZ, -2.99% cancer vaccine platform “could overcome issues that have plagued the field of therapeutic cancer vaccines in the past,” Chang said, because its approach “mimics the natural generation of protective immunity.”

One of the company’s vaccine platforms, ZVex, “‘primes’ the immune system by in vivo targeting of dendritic cells that leads to optimal antigen presentation and production of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs),” while the other platform, GLAAS, “can further ‘boost’ the immune response by expanding and enhancing the function of CTLs,” Chang said.

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