A German diagnostic SME has developed a patented laser-based cell disruption technology for the anti-tumour immune therapy. The technology allows the extraction of the intra-cellular anti-gene structure of the tumour cells, which is chemically unchanged and enables an efficient stimulation of the immune response and vaccination. A project proposal shall be drafted for the next cut-off in February 2020. At least one SME and further partners are sought for research cooperation agreements.
The German SME was founded out of a local university 15 years ago as a service provider for research-based pharmaceutical and biotech companies, medical-biological research institutions and medical devices manufacturers. In 2008 the company has built up a development division for medical diagnostic and non-medical analysers based on laser- and optical fibre technologies and micro-electronics. In order to obtain an individual anti-tumour immune response, which is necessary for the production of individual vaccines from tumour cells, a disruption of the tumour cells is required. This can be done out of cultures of single cells or by preparing of cells from tumour tissues (biopsies) with a subsequent co-cultivation of the cell lysis material with adjuvants and co-stimulating factors by immune cells. The efficient, individual anti-tumour immune response is based mainly on three pillars: 1) The recognition of the tumour-specific signal pattern by the antigen presenting immune cells. This leads to the stimulation of the immune response. The antigen pattern is composed of numerous molecules and varies depending of the tumour species, malignity and individual factors. For the recognition of the immune cells it is crucial that the bonds are unmodified. 2) A boost of the immune response by adjuvants 3) The initiation of a specific immunological memory (vaccination) For the formation of an efficient, specific immunological memory the synergy of various cell populations is important. For the specific grade of the immunological memory the recognition of the antigen pattern is essential. The company has patented a laser-based cell disruption technology for the anti-tumour immune therapy. For this the cells are disrupted with an ultra-short pulse laser. Chemical or thermodynamic transformation of molecules is avoided, contrary to standard technologies, such as ultrasonic or pressure disruption or crystallisation. This is realised by using ultra-short laserpulses to open the cell membrane, followed by a leakage of unaffected cytoplasm. Thus, it allows the extraction of the intra-cellular anti-gene structure of the tumour cells, which is chemically unchanged and enables an efficient stimulation of the immune response and vaccination. Aim of the project: Currently a regional project is in process for testing the technology in the mouse model with own tumour cell lines. The team is now looking for partners, for a further development of this technique, concerning a minimization and optimization, and in respect of an application to human tissue. This should be realized by applying for EUROSTARS funding. Tasks to be done:  The German SME will perform the application of the nanodissection technique in conjunction with human tumour material preparation and the developed functional models. Further, the extracted antigen material has to be co-cultivated with human immune cell’s (WBC’s), and immunological and endocrinological tests and validation has to be performed.  One partner is needed to provide human tumour biopsy material in order to further pre-clinical studies. To use the material in the project, it has to be extracted, prepared, characterized and provided by an optimised technique.  Another partner is needed for the instrumental part. Based on the technical evaluation model a modern functional prototype shall be developed. Therefore, extensive experience in computerized laser optics, ultra-short pulse laser technique and microscopy is necessary. Experience in medical engineering in compliance with the European regulations would be very useful.  A further partner is needed for the implementation of a suitable software application, including an automated microscopic image recognition and autofocus function. This part may be also realised by partner . The maximum project duration is 3 years. The next cutt-off is the 13th February 2020; the deadline for EOIs is the 31th January 2020.
Type (e.g. company, R&D institution…), field of industry and Role of Partner Sought:
In order to build up a European consortium, which will be eligible for funding under EUROSTARS programme, at least one additional industrial SME partner should join the consortium. Other organisations (research organisations, other companies, clinical organisations etc.) may also participate according to the requested expertises.  oncology, preparation and providing of tumour biopsy material  femto-second-laser technique, computerized laser-optics  medical software development
Technical Specification or Expertise Sought:
Partners should have at least one of the following expertises:  oncology, preparation and providing of tumour biopsy material  femto-second-laser technique, computerized laser-optics  medical software development
Stage of Development:
Proposal under development
Comments Regarding Stage of Development:
A technical evaluation model is currently in use.
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
Comments Regarding IPR Status: