Glossary

We have gathered a collection of words and terms relevant for Nykode Therapeutics for an ease of understanding.

Antigen

An antigen is a molecule recognized by the immune system. “Non-self” antigens are identified as intruders and attacked by the immune system.

APC

Antigen Presenting Cells (APC) are part of the immune system and are cells that display antigens on their surfaces and present them to T cells.

B cell

Immune cells, also known as B lymphocytes, are responsible for mediating the production of antigen-specific antibodies.

CD4+ T cells

Immune cells able to activate and help other immune cells by releasing signaling molecules, thereby orchestrating an optimal immune response, also known as helper T cells.

CD8+ T cells

Immune cells able to kill cancer or virus-infected cells, also known as cytotoxic or killer T cells.

Checkpoint inhibitor

Checkpoint inhibitors, also known as immune checkpoint inhibitors, is a type of drug that activates the immune system to fight cancer. The drug prevents the “off” signal, which then enables the immune system to become activated.

CMC

Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls.

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the hereditary material found in every cell and is unique for each individual. DNA consists of genes that encode for proteins.

DNA vaccine

Vaccines are made to induce an immune response to an antigen, to boost the immune system. When the antigen is delivered as a DNA molecule (plasmid), it is called a DNA vaccine.

Epitope

An epitope is the part of an antigen that is recognized by the immune system, specifically by antibodies, B cells, or T cells. For example, the epitope is the specific piece of the antigen to which a T cell binds.

HPV

Human papillomavirus. There are several strains, and HPV16 is the strain most associated with cancer.

HSIL

High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions of the cervix. This corresponds to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 (CIN 2/3).

Immuno-oncology

Cancer immunotherapy, also called immuno-oncology, is a type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system fight cancer.

Individualized vaccine

On-demand vaccine designed and manufactured specifically for each individual patient.

IP

Intellectual property such as patents and know-how.

MIP-1α

A chemokine that attracts APC and ensures binding to receptors on the surface of APC. It is used as a targeting module in e.g. the VB10.16 vaccines.

Mutation

A change or alteration that occurs in the DNA. Mutations may lead to cancer, and these mutations may be identified and recognized by the immune system.

Neoantigen

Novel tumor-specific antigens derived from somatic gene mutations in cancer cells that are solely expressed on a patient’s tumor. These mutations may be regarded as truly foreign by the immune system.

NKTR-214

NKTR-214, or bempegaldesleukin, is an immunotherapeutic drug in clinical development by Nektar Therapeutics.

Off-the-shelf vaccine

Vaccine that can be manufactured, stored and may be used to treat large patient groups.

Phase I/IIa

Early-phase clinical trials intended to evaluate safety/tolerability and initial clinical effect.

Plasmid

A small DNA molecule carrying genes that can be expressed as proteins within a host cell.

Prophylactic vaccines

Prophylactic vaccines are vaccines that may prevent disease before it occurs, whereas therapeutic vaccines are administered after the individual is already affected by the disease or infection.

R&D

Research and development.

RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. All of the RNA in a natural cell is made by DNA transcription.

T cell

Immune cells of key importance to the immune system recognizing and fighting specific pathogens or cancer antigens.

Nykode technology platform

A proprietary vaccine delivery platform intended to make more efficacious vaccines by targeting the antigen to APC.

VB10.16

Nykode’s off-the-shelf drug candidate targeting HPV16-induced malignancies such as cervical cancer.

VB10.NEO

Nykode’s individualized drug candidate where each vaccine is designed based on each patient’s cancer specific gene alterations (mutations). Outlicensed to Genentech.