ISA Pharmaceuticals’ CSO Prof. Dr. Cornelis Melief Receives AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology 2019

- Recognition for outstanding and innovative cancer research
( | Press Release | 2019-03-19 17:03:58 )
Leiden, The Netherlands, March 19, 2019 – ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V., a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company, today announced that its Chief Scientific Officer Prof. Dr. Cornelis Melief will receive the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology 2019 from the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) and the Cancer Research Institute.

The AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology recognizes an active scientist whose outstanding and innovative research has had a major impact on the cancer field and has the potential to stimulate new directions in cancer immunology.

The award was established in honor of the late Lloyd J. Old, MD, who is considered the “Founding Father of Modern Tumor Immunology.” Dr. Old’s outstanding research in the field of cancer immunology as well as his leadership in fostering the field has had a far-reaching impact on cancer research and treatment.

Prof. Melief will deliver his award lecture titled "Adventures in Cancer Immunotherapy" at the AACR Annual Meeting 2019 in Atlanta, GA, USA, on April 2, 2019.

Prof. Melief is a pioneer of translational cancer immunotherapy research. In addition to his role as Chief Scientific Officer at ISA Pharmaceuticals, Prof. Melief is Emeritus Professor of Tumor Immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands. Prof. Melief is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, author of more than 530 peer-reviewed publications and inventor on more than 30 patents and patent applications. In addition, he is a member of the Cancer Research Institute’s Scientific Advisory Council, a member of CRI’s global clinical investigator network and serves on the CLIP Grant Review Committee. Moreover, he serves as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of TRON - Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.

Prof. Melief´s work focuses on the development of effective immunotherapies for virus-induced tumors. To this end, he has established a novel vaccine concept based on synthetic long peptides (SLP) for the treatment of cancer patients. Among others, Prof. Melief and his team have demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of these therapeutic vaccines in patients with pre-malignant lesions caused by Human Papilloma Virus type 16 (HPV-16). In addition, Prof. Melief and his team showed that a combination of SLP vaccination and standard chemotherapy strengthened the immune response of cervical cancer patients and prolonged their survival. The researchers further discovered that a similar effect could be achieved in patients with HPV-related head and neck cancer by administering the vaccines in conjunction with checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

“All of us at ISA Pharmaceuticals are very proud that AACR and CRI recognize the great achievements of our CSO Prof. Kees Melief,” said Gerben Moolhuizen, CEO of ISA Pharmaceuticals. “His pioneering work has the potential to significantly improve the treatment of cancer and chronic infections and has led to the development of ISA´s proprietary SLP® technology, which forms the basis of ISA´s targeted immune activation therapeutics. SLP-based products already demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept in patients with pre-cancerous disease and have also shown potential to improve the outcome for patients with advanced cancer. Currently, ISA´s lead SLP compound ISA101 is being tested in randomized late-stage clinical trials in advanced cancer patients. We at ISA are looking forward to bringing these innovative targeted therapies to patients.”


About ISA Pharmaceuticals

ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V. is an immunotherapy company developing rationally designed, fully synthetic immunotherapeutics against cancer and persistent viral infections. The Company has built a proprietary immunotherapy platform based on the Synthetic Long Peptide (SLP®) concept and AMPLIVANT® technology. SLP® immunotherapies are designed to fully harness and direct the body’s own defenses towards fighting the disease. In December 2017, ISA Pharmaceuticals closed a clinical immuno-oncology collaboration with Regeneron to advance its SLP® lead compound ISA101, an immunotherapy targeting human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16)-induced cancer, in combination with cemiplimab (REGN2810, Libtayo®), a PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) antibody in development by Regeneron, which was recently approved by the FDA as monotherapy for patients with advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. ISA develops a diverse SLP® immunotherapy portfolio based on different disease-related antigens in order to provide novel treatment options for orphan and larger unmet cancer indications.

For more information, please visit

SLP® and AMPLIVANT® are registered trademarks in Europe.

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