Gritstone Oncology Receives Notice of Allowance from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on its Core Patent Application for Tumor Antigen Prediction Model

Gritstone Oncology Receives Notice of Allowance from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on its Core Patent Application for Tumor Antigen Prediction Model

             Gritstone to be Issued Patent for its EDGE™ Deep Learning Model to Identify Neoantigens for Inclusion in Personalized Cancer Immunotherapies

EMERYVILLE, Calif., May 7, 2018 –Gritstone Oncology, Inc., an immuno-oncology company developing personalized cancer immunotherapies to fight multiple cancer types, announced today that that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for Gritstone’s patent application, “Neoantigen identification, manufacture, and use” 2017/0212984 for its EDGE™ (Epitope Discovery in cancer GEnomes) technology, a deep learning model designed to identify neoantigens for inclusion in personalized cancer immunotherapies.

The allowed patent application covers the use of the EDGE™ technology, particularly where the model was trained using mass spectrometry data. In this allowed patent application, which will result in an issued patent in the coming weeks, Gritstone’s deep learning platform has demonstrated significant innovation over existing prediction tools. Gritstone’s use of the EDGE™ technology meaningfully increases the odds that the neoantigens selected for inclusion in an immunotherapy will elicit anti-tumor immunity. Any company seeking to use mass spectrometry as a basis to improve neoantigen prediction will need to address this allowed application in their future development plans.

“We have been focused on building a best-in-class neoantigen prediction model since day one of Gritstone’s existence,” said Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Gritstone, “and we are happy to now have a robust model that is ready for clinical application following our expected IND submission in the second half of 2018. A good prediction model is key to the success of our neoantigen-based immunotherapy, and we have been pioneering the application of mass spectrometry and deep learning tools to this complex and clinically important biological problem. We are very pleased to have received this Notice of Allowance from the USPTO, as we work to enhance treatment options for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.” 

About Gritstone Oncology, Inc.

Gritstone is a privately-held company developing personalized cancer immunotherapies to fight multiple cancer types. Gritstone brings together distinguished scientific founders, an experienced and diverse management team, a seasoned and successful board of directors and deep financial backing to tackle fundamental challenges at the intersection of cancer genomics, immunology, and immunotherapy design. The Company’s goal is to extend the benefits of immunotherapy by leveraging new insights into the immune system’s ability to destroy cancer cells, based on the study of patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors such as PD-(L)1 monoclonal antibodies. Gritstone’s approach seeks to generate a therapeutic immune response in these patients by unleashing the demonstrated natural power of a patient’s own immune system to recognize tumor-specific neoantigens, or TSNA, in order to destroy tumor cells. The importance of TSNA as targets for the immune system was first recognized in 2014 and 2015 by two of our co-founders, Dr. Timothy Chan and Dr. Naiyer Rizvi. Leveraging these insights, Gritstone has built a personalized immunotherapy approach on two key pillars—first, through its proprietary Gritstone EDGE™ artificial intelligence-based platform, conferring a powerful ability to predict, from a routine tumor biopsy, the TSNA that are presented on a patient’s tumor cells; and second, Gritstone’s ability to develop and manufacture a potent immunotherapy utilizing a patient’s unique TSNA to drive the patient’s immune system to attack and destroy tumors.  Gritstone is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area with key functions located in Cambridge, MA and Pleasanton, CA. The company launched in August 2015 and has received funding from leading blue-chip biotechnology investors, including Versant Ventures, The Column Group, Clarus, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Lilly Asia Ventures, GV, Redmile Group and Casdin Capital. More information can be found at www.gritstone.com or @gritstoneonc.

 

Media Contact:
Dan Budwick
1AB
(973) 271-6085
dan@1abmedia.com

Gritstone Oncology to Present First Data Bridging Tumor Antigen Identification and Potent Immunotherapy Delivery in Primates at 2018 AACR Annual Meeting

Gritstone Oncology to Present First Data Bridging Tumor Antigen Identification and Potent Immunotherapy Delivery in Primates at 2018 AACR Annual Meeting

Data Support Plans to Initiate Clinical Trials in 2H18

EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 12, 2018 – Gritstone Oncology, a personalized cancer immunotherapy company, today announced that preclinical data highlighting the company’s tumor-specific neoantigen (TSNA) identification platform, EDGE™ (Epitope Discovery in cancer GEnomes), and a novel, potent TSNA delivery approach will be presented during two poster presentations at the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. The meeting is being held April 14-18, 2018 in Chicago.

Gritstone Oncology will present prediction data from EDGE™ demonstrating its ability to select tumor-specific neoantigens that have generated anti-tumor immune responses in humans. In an analysis of independently validated, tumor-relevant T cell responses against neoantigens (including from the US National Cancer Institute), EDGE™ identified, with good specificity, the majority of neoantigens eliciting a CD8+ T cell response in patients with cancer.

Further, the company will present the first preclinical data, including in non-human primates (NHP), highlighting a potent immunotherapy approach to deliver selected TSNA to patients. The delivery approach comprises a chimpanzee adenoviral vector (ChAdV) for the prime immunization, and a self-replicating, synthetic viral RNA vector (srRNA) for repeated boost immunizations. In preclinical NHP studies, delivery of selected antigens using this sequential (heterologous) prime/boost immunization approach, showed a quick onset of immune activation with induction of high numbers of antigen-specific T cells. In addition, co-administration of anti-CTLA4 further enhanced both the number and function of the elicited T cells, suggesting the system’s potential in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.

“In patients with solid tumors, the generation of a very large number of tumor neoantigen-specific CD8+ T cells is one of the major challenges associated with today’s immunotherapies,” said Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Gritstone Oncology. “To leverage the neoantigens selected by EDGE™, we have developed a potent immunotherapy regimen, which has produced high level CD8+ T cell responses in NHP. Historically, such models have been highly predictive of immune responses observed in humans, and these data support our plans to initiate clinical trials in in the second half of 2018. We are excited to be presenting our research at this year’s AACR meeting, demonstrating the applicability of our integrated platform for the development of personalized immunotherapies for difficult-to-treat-cancers.”

Abstract Title: A novel heterologous prime boost vaccine system drives tumor specific and potent CD8 T cell responses for cancer immunotherapy

Date & Time: April 15, 2018 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. CT

Abstract Findings: Gritstone Oncology has developed a potent heterologous prime/boost immunization approach to deliver predicted TSNAs to patients, which is comprised of a replication incompetent chimpanzee adenoviral vector (ChAdV) for the prime vaccination and a self-replicating, synthetic viral vector (srRNA) for repeated boost vaccinations. In a preclinical model, immunization with either vector resulted in strong antigen-specific CD8 T-cell responses and provided a statistically significant survival advantage to tumor bearing mice when compared to untreated mice. The potency was also tested in a non-human primate model, demonstrating quick onset of T-cell responses one week post ChAdV prime vaccination, with peak T-cell responses at two to three weeks and effectively boosted by the srRNA vector. In addition, co-administration of anti-CTLA4 with the vaccine demonstrated enhanced vaccine-induced immune response.

Abstract Title: Antigen identification for cancer immunotherapy by deep learning on tumor HLA peptides

Date & Time: April 18, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT

Abstract Findings: Using a large dataset of tumor transcriptomes and immunopeptidomes, Gritstone Oncology has trained a deep learning model (EDGE™) to predict the presentation of HLA peptides on tumor cells. The model was tested on HLA presented peptides from held-out tumor samples and demonstrated an approximately 10-fold improvement in positive predictive value compared to standard tools. The model was also tested for its ability to predict neoantigens recognized by T-cells and included the majority (16/23, 70%) of validated neoantigens from an independent test set in a putative 20-mutation personalized immunization.

About Gritstone Oncology

Gritstone Oncology is a privately-held, personalized cancer immunotherapy company. Gritstone brings together distinguished scientific founders, an experienced and diverse management team, a seasoned and successful board of directors and deep financial backing to tackle fundamental challenges at the intersection of cancer genomics, immunology, and immunotherapy design. The Company’s initial goal is to leverage artificial intelligence to identify and deploy therapeutic neoantigens from individual patients’ tumors to develop novel treatments for lung, gastric, colorectal, and bladder cancer. In addition to neoantigen therapy development, Gritstone is leveraging its unique antigen discovery platform, EDGE™ (Epitope Discovery of cancer GEnomes), to define targets for shared antigen immunotherapies, which would provide an opportunity to treat even more patients. Gritstone Oncology is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area with key functions located in Cambridge, MA and Pleasanton, CA. The company launched in October 2015 and has received funding from leading blue-chip biotechnology investors, including Versant Ventures, The Column Group, Clarus Funds, Frazier Healthcare Partners, RedMile, Casdin Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, Trinitas Capital, GV, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Bay City Capital. More information can be found at www.gritstoneoncology.com or @gritstoneonc.

Media Contact:
Dan Budwick
1AB
(973) 271-6085
dan@1abmedia.com

 

Gritstone Oncology Appoints Jayant Aphale, Ph.D. as Executive Vice President of Technical Operations

Gritstone Oncology Appoints Jayant Aphale, Ph.D. as Executive Vice President of Technical Operations

Senior Biopharma Executive Brings More Than 25 Years of Global Pharmaceutical
Production and Supply Experience Across Vaccines, Biologics and Oligonucleotides

 

Emeryville, CA, March 19, 2018 – Gritstone Oncology, a next-generation personalized cancer immunotherapy company, today announced that Jayant Aphale, Ph.D. has been appointed as Executive Vice President of Technical Operations. 

Dr. Aphale will be responsible for process development and optimization, clinical material manufacturing under cGMP, and ensuring close collaboration with FDA and other regulatory agencies as Gritstone develops novel processes and products for personalized immunotherapy treatments. He will report to Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, and will be based in the company’s Pleasanton, CA manufacturing facility.

Dr. Aphale brings more than 25 years of global manufacturing and technical operations experience within the vaccines, biologics and oligonucleotide domains. Most recently, he was Vice President of Technical Operations at Sarepta Therapeutics, where he led the technical operations team for internal process development, global supply chain and drug manufacturing across its drug candidate portfolio. He participated directly in launching Sarepta’s first commercial product, an antisense oligonucleotide, by developing and scaling manufacturing processes from Phase 1 through launch and commercialization.

His previous experience includes senior manufacturing and technical operations roles at GSK Vaccines, Enobia Pharma, Acambis Vaccines, Wyeth Vaccines, Diosynth and Roche Diagnostics. Dr. Aphale received his Ph.D. in microbiology from Ohio State University and an MBA in finance and strategy from The University of North Carolina.

“Jayant’s career to date positions him very well to lead all aspects of our manufacturing program, both strategically and operationally. He has led technical operations at all stages of the product life cycle at global life sciences companies, he has worked on viral vectors and oligonucleotides, and he has succeeded in both large and small companies. He is a significant addition to our team at Gritstone,” said Dr. Allen. “His experience at Sarepta and leading vaccine companies will provide us with important leadership and insights as our first personalized immunotherapy program enters clinical development in mid-2018.”

About Gritstone Oncology

Gritstone Oncology is a privately-held, next-generation personalized cancer immunotherapy company. Gritstone brings together distinguished scientific founders, an experienced and diverse management team, a seasoned and successful board of directors and deep financial backing to tackle fundamental challenges at the intersection of cancer genomics, immunology, and immunotherapy design. The Company’s initial goal is to leverage artificial intelligence to identify and deploy therapeutic neoantigens from individual patients’ tumors to develop novel treatments for lung, gastric, colorectal, and bladder cancer. In addition to neoantigen therapy development, Gritstone is leveraging its unique antigen discovery platform, EDGE™ (Epitope Discovery of cancer GEnomes), to define targets for shared antigen immunotherapies, which would provide an opportunity to treat even more patients. Gritstone Oncology is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area with key functions located in Cambridge, MA and Pleasanton, CA. The company launched in October 2015 and has received funding from leading blue-chip biotechnology investors, including Versant Ventures, The Column Group, Clarus Funds, Frazier Healthcare Partners, RedMile, Casdin Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, Trinitas Capital, GV, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Bay City Capital. More information can be found at www.gritstoneoncology.com or @gritstoneonc.

PR Contact:
Dan Budwick
1AB
(973) 271-6085
dan@1abmedia.com
 

Gritstone Oncology Appoints Jean-Marc Bellemin as Chief Financial Officer

Gritstone Oncology Appoints Jean-Marc Bellemin as Chief Financial Officer

 

Emeryville, CA, January 23, 2018 – Gritstone Oncology, a next-generation personalized cancer immunotherapy company, announced today the appointment of Jean-Marc Bellemin as Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, effective January 5, 2018.

Mr. Bellemin will lead Gritstone’s finance, accounting and investor relations functions, as well as Human Resources and Information Technology. He will report to Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Gritstone Oncology, and will be based in the company’s headquarters in Emeryville, CA.

Mr. Bellemin brings more than 23 years of international experience in finance and operations management within start-up and global commercial pharmaceutical organizations. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Actelion Pharmaceuticals USA, providing strategic leadership, plus financial and operations management of an international, profitable, publicly-traded biotechnology company. He led the long-term strategic process for the finance, project management, information technology and market access functions at Actelion until its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 2017.

His previous experience includes various leadership roles within the finance team over 11 years at Actelion in both Europe and the USA, and serving in financial management roles at GUERBET Pharmaceuticals, ELF AQUITAINE, Philips Electronic Company and Credit Lyonnais Bank. Mr. Bellemin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Management from Paris Dauphine University, a Master’s degree in Finance and Accounting at Paris Sorbonne University and an M.B.A. from Essec Business School in Paris.

“With a significant Series B financing raised last September, Gritstone is well-capitalized and will benefit particularly from Jean-Marc’s experience leading the finance function at Actelion USA, an internationally-renowned biotechnology company which grew from an R&D company into a very successful commercial one,” said Dr. Allen. “We are fortunate to have Jean-Marc join our team as we prepare for our lead personalized immunotherapy program to enter clinical development in 2018 and beyond.”

About Gritstone Oncology

Gritstone Oncology is a privately-held, next-generation personalized cancer immunotherapy company. Gritstone brings together distinguished scientific founders, an experienced and diverse management team, a seasoned and successful board of directors and deep financial backing to tackle fundamental challenges at the intersection of cancer genomics, immunology, and immunotherapy design. The Company’s initial goal is to leverage artificial intelligence to identify and deploy therapeutic neoantigens from individual patients’ tumors to develop novel treatments for lung, gastric, and colorectal cancer. In addition to neoantigen therapy development, Gritstone is leveraging its unique antigen discovery platform, EDGE™ (Epitope Discovery of cancer GEnomes), to define targets for shared antigen immunotherapies, which would provide an opportunity to treat even more patients. Gritstone Oncology is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area with key functions located in Cambridge, MA and Pleasanton, CA. The company launched in October 2015 and has received funding from leading blue-chip biotechnology investors, including Versant Ventures, The Column Group, Clarus Funds, Frazier Healthcare Partners, RedMile, Casdin Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, Trinitas Capital, GV, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Bay City Capital. More information can be found at www.gritstoneoncology.com or @gritstoneonc.

 

PR Contact:

Dan Budwick
1AB
(973) 271-6085
dan@1abmedia.com