Press Release Details

Immune Design and Gritstone Oncology Announce Clinical Collaboration for Neoantigen Cancer Immunotherapy

May 9, 2016

SEATTLE / SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO and EMERYVILLE, May 9, 2016 — Immune Design (Nasdaq: IMDZ), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on oncology, and Gritstone Oncology, a private cancer immunotherapy company developing next-generation, personalized cancer therapeutics, today announced a clinical collaboration for development of novel, personalized immunotherapies combining both companies’ leading technologies.

The collaboration will involve the application of Immune Design’s ZVexTM discovery platform with Gritstone’s proprietary genomics and proteomics platform for identification of patient-specific tumor antigens to develop neoantigen-based immunotherapies. Immune Design and Gritstone will be jointly responsible for development activities, with an initial likely focus in non-small cell lung cancer. The first clinical trial is expected to commence in 2017.

“The emerging tumor neoantigen field holds great potential for the successful application of cancer immunotherapies, and we are pleased to be working with Gritstone, who we believe are pioneers in the field,” said Carlos Paya, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Immune Design. “Having validated our two platforms in clinical trials targeting conserved tumor antigens, we believe their application to patient specific tumor antigens is a natural next step.”

For the first trial of their technologies, the companies are evaluating combining the Gritstone and Immune Design neoantigen vaccine with a checkpoint inhibitor, to optimize the vaccine-induced immune response at several levels and maximize the likelihood of clinical efficacy.

“We are excited to work with Immune Design and their novel immunotherapy approach” said Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Gritstone Oncology. “There is good evidence that viral vectors are one of the most effective means of generating high titer CD8+ T cells that recognize encoded antigens, and so this is a logical move for our company, as our neoantigen prediction platform starts to deliver immune targets for individual patients with lung cancer.”


Immune Design is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company employing next-generation in vivo approaches to enable the body’s immune system to fight chronic diseases. The company’s technologies are engineered to activate the immune system’s natural ability to generate and/or expand antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells, while also enhancing other immune effectors, to fight cancer and other chronic diseases. CMB305 and G100, the primary focus of Immune Design’s ongoing immuno-oncology clinical programs, are products of its two synergistic discovery platforms, ZVexTM and GLAASTM, the fundamental technologies of which were licensed from the California Institute of Technology and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), respectively. Immune Design has offices in Seattle and South San Francisco. For more information, visit 131285403 v2


Gritstone oncology is a privately-held cancer immunotherapy company developing next-generation personalized cancer therapeutics. Gritstone brings together distinguished scientific founders, an experienced and diverse management team, a seasoned and successful board of directors, and deep financial backing to tackle fundamental challenges at the intersection of cancer genomics, immunology, and immunotherapy design. The company’s initial goal is to identify and deploy therapeutic neo-antigens from individual patients’ tumor to develop novel treatments for lung cancer. Gritstone Oncology is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area with certain key functions located in Cambridge, MA. The company launched in October 2015 with a Series A financing of $102 million from leading blue-chip biotechnology investors, including Versant Ventures, The Column Group and Clarus Ventures. More information can be found at


This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “likely,” “believe,” “evaluate” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Immune Design’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about the timing of initiation, progress, scope and outcome of clinical trials for Immune Design’s product candidates, the reporting of clinical data regarding Immune Design’s product candidates and the timing of initiation, scope and outcome of the collaborative efforts of Immune Design and Gritstone. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results including unexpected safety or efficacy data observed during preclinical or clinical studies, clinical trial site activation or enrollment rates that are lower than expected, changes in expected or existing competition, changes in the regulatory environment, failure of Immune Design’s collaborators to support or advance collaborations or product candidates and unexpected litigation or other disputes. Other factors that may cause Immune Design’s actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements in this press release are discussed in Immune Design’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the “Risk Factors” sections contained therein. Except as required by law, Immune Design assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available. 

Media Contact:
Dan Budwick 
1AB Media