Neon Therapeutics NTGN Stock News

Neon Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: NTGN) is making a run for the top in the market this morning, gaining nearly 40% early on. The gains come after the company announced that data surrounding its candidate was published in a peer-reviewed journal. Here’s the scoop:

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NTGN Climbs On Peer-Reviewed Publication

In a press release issued early this morning, Neon Therapeutics shed light on a publication in the scientific journal, Immunity. The publication surrounded a breakthrough process for predicting which neoantigens will be presented by MHC class II molecules in the tumor microenvironment.

This is important science. After all, the prediction of relevant cancer-specific antigens is a crucial precursor to developing immunotherapies that can effectively train T cells to find and destroy malignant cells.

NTGN said that the paper, titled “Defining HLA-II ligand processing and binding rules with mass spectrometry enhances cancer epitope prediction” outlined its proprietary mono-allelic profiling technology. This technology is known as MAPTAc.

In the paper, this proprietary technology was shown to facilitate the development of convolutional neural network-based predictors. In fact, these algorithms achieved up to a 61-fold improvement in predicting MHC class II peptieds when compared to publicly available tools.

NTGN said that this MHC class II technology will be integrated into its RECON bioinformatics platform. It is expected that the integration will improve the efficacy of immunotherapies developed by the company through the prediction of recruitment of CD4+ T cells. These cells are believed to be crucial in controling cancerous tumor growth.

In a statement, Richard Gaynor, M.D., President of Research and Development at NTGN, had the following to offer:

The above statement was followed up by Jennifer Abelin, Ph.D., Associate Director of Proteomics at NTGN and lead author of the paper, had the following to offer:

Until recently, neoantigen-directed therapies have been focused primarily on eliciting CD8+ T cell responses toward ligands presented on MHC class I molecules. It has been historically difficult to predict the antigens that will be presented through class II due to inaccurate peptide binding prediction and unsolved complexities of the class II pathway. Through the research published today in Immunity, we have integrated novel proteomics and genomics strategies to build a more accurate tool for defining and understanding the rules of the class II pathway, leading to algorithms that have been shown to significantly outperform currently available prediction tools.

This News Is Huge

Over the past decade, the scientific community has been working hard to focus on immunotherapies as options for cancer and other devastating ailments. While the science behind immunotherapy is relatively new in the grand scheme of things, we are seeing success in several immuno-based clinical trials.

Neon’s news today is big. Through the company’s technology’s predictive capabilities, the efficacy of immunotherapies developed by the company could potentially be increased. This technology could be used to combat multiple tumor types.

Moreover, the empowerment of the body’s own immune system is a big deal. This is especially the case when considering toxicity concerns among current treatments. By providing the body’s immune system with the tools it needs to fight cancer, treatments are likely to be more effective, just as importantly, the safety and tolerability profiles of these treatments will likely be a vast improvement over the current standard of care.

All in all, the news released by NTGN today is a huge step in the right direction. With this predictive ability, the company has a competitive advantage in the development of next-generation immunotherapies.

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