Session 2 – AI for Biotech & Healthcare
Date: 24 July (Wednesday) 14:00 – 18:00 Venue: 3F, Bldg. A, CTBC Financial Park, Ballroom B
President and CEO
Based on 18 years of experience in the emerging business development in the fusing areas of lifescience and information technology (IT) in NEC Corporation, Dr. Doi has become a President and CEO of CYTLIMIC Inc., which was established in December 2016 as a spin-off biotech company of NEC for the development of cancer immunotherapy.
After receiving PhD degree in computer science in 1984 from Hokkaido University, Dr. Doi engaged in NEC Central Research Laboratory as a computer scientist in the field of Supercomputing. In 1997, he was also assigned as a head of Machine Learning group, where the AI-based peptide prediction technology, a root of cancer vaccine development, was born.
Session Speech Title & Synopsis: Innovative Cancer Vaccine, a Fruit of the Integration of AI and Immunology
The development of Machine Learning-based MHC binding peptide prediction system started in 1998 as a collaboration of computer scientists in NEC and immunologist Prof. Keiko Udaka (Kyoto University, currently Professor of Kochi University). This technology was used in the discovery of Multi-HLA reactive peptides in a collaboration between NEC and Yamaguchi University in 2012. In parallel, a discovery of new combination adjuvant also started in the same collaboration, and the combination of Poly IC (TLR3 agonist) and LAG-3Ig (MHC Class II agonist) was discovered as a novel combination immune activator. CYTLIMIC’s peptide vaccine CYT001 is composed of two Multi-HLA reactive peptides (one for HSP70 antigen and the other is for GPC3 antigen), and the combination adjuvant of Poly ICLC (Hiltonol, Oncovir, Inc.) and LAG-3Ig (Eftilagimod Alpha, Immutep Ltd.), a real fruit of the integration of Artificial Intelligence and Immunology.
The topics of the first part is the outline, background of the development of Machine Learning-based MHC binding peptide prediction system. The second topics is the development of CYTLIMIC’s vaccine CYT001 conducted under the collaboration between NEC and Yamaguchi University. The third topics is about clinical studies, and future development of the vaccine.
Anti-PD-1 antibody (e.g., Nivolumab) has shown notable clinical effects in some of advanced cancer patients, but its overall efficacy is still limited. Average response rate is around 20%, except for some specific cancer types, e.g., Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and various combinations are being tested. Among non-responders to anti-PD-1 drug are the patients having “Cold tumor”, where cytotoxic T cells are not reached tumor sites. From the nature of cancer vaccine in activating cytotoxic T cells, it is believed that the combination of anti-PD-1 drug and vaccine will respond in certain portion of remaining 80% non-responders to anti-PD-1 drug. Recent progresses on such combination will also be discussed.