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ImmuCision BioTherapeutics Receives Quick Financial Backing, Locates in University of Maryland BioPark

BALTIMORE, Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Maryland (UM) BioPark and UM Ventures announced today that ImmuCision BioTherapeutics (ICBT), a UM, Baltimore startup company specializing in immunotherapy, has established offices and laboratory space in the BioPark. ICBT, which commercializes and develops dendritic cell immunology technologies to address human cancers that are not treatable by conventional therapies, also recently received a significant investment, helping it to quickly advance its research and development programs.

"The dendritic cell is the master regulator of host immunity, however, current methods in dendritic cell preparation, activation and tumor antigen loading have various technical hurdles, which have thus far limited broad application of dendritic cell technology in cancer therapy," said Hua Cheng, PhD, founder of ICBT. "ImmuCision has developed an innovative method that can significantly improve the growth (and quality) of dendritic cells in the lab. In addition, the newly developed method allows efficient genetic modification to enhance dendritic cell function."

Launched in 2017, ICBT has obtained a license from the University of Maryland, Baltimore for proprietary ihv-DC technology, which allows the immortalization of dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are a key immune system regulator that can effectively provide a platform for developing cytotoxic lymphocytes and natural killer cells specific to certain diseases. This type of immunotherapy has the potential to be more effective than chemotherapy for cancer or virus treatments, because immune therapies are more targeted, may have fewer side effects and don't trigger microbial resistance as frequently.

Several important milestones led to ICBT's move to the UM BioPark. The company's technology was validated in a May 2018 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), demonstrating its capacity for creating specific immune cells that exhibited significant tumor and metastasis inhibition in animal lung cancer models. The company also has filed an international patent application covering the technology.

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