To ease ourselves into the New Year, we’ve stayed close to home this week, visiting Provecs Medical in Hamburg. This biotech focuses on the development of better vaccines for advanced cancers and infectious diseases.
Mission: Provecs Medical spun out of the University-Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in 2007 and has since been working on vaccines for the treatment of advanced cancers and infectious diseases. The company looks closely at the barriers that stop the immune system from fighting disease and, with the help of biomarkers and immunodiagnostics, the company hopes to offer personalized treatments to provide better, cost-effective treatments to patients.
Provecs Medical’s ENVIRO technology targets the disease microenvironment by delivering immune signals like cytokines and co-stimulatory proteins. In the case of cancer, this encourages T cells to disrupt the cancer environment, which can help disturb tumor growth. For infectious diseases, ENVIRO is combined with peptide-based antigens, which allows immune cells to better target invading pathogens.
Comment: By using the immune system to fight cancer, Provecs Medical is entering a field that already includes technology like CAR-T, and immune checkpoint inhibitors. However, what I find particularly interesting about this biotech’s approach is how it hopes to break down the cancer microenvironment by drawing immune cells into the tumor. The fact that the technology is also being targeted at the treatment of infectious diseases highlights its huge potential in medicine.
Image – JoergHoffmann / shutterstock.com