SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Prima BioMed Ltd (ASX: PRR; NASDAQ: PBMD) (“Prima” or the “Company”) announces that the Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded Prima and research partner Monash University a A$360,000 grant under its Linkage Project scheme to help fund a research project into the role of LAG-3 in immune responses.
In collaboration with Prima, Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) Chief Investigator, Professor Jamie Rossjohn will conduct the study titled ‘Investigating the structure of a T cell immune checkpoint molecule’. It will assess T cell receptors and their role in the immune system and provide insights into the LAG-3 function and how it controls T cell signalling. The study could ultimately lead to the development of new innovative T cell immunomodulatory agents. ARC Laureate Fellow and Head of the Infection and Immunity Program at the Monash BDI, Professor Jamie Rossjohn, said: “This funding shows huge support for immunotherapeutics. Our proposal is innovative in combining state-of-the-art technology that will be fully integrated with the ground breaking work of Dr Triebel, the leading authority in LAG-3 biology. This will help us to further understand the way that LAG-3 controls T cell signalling, which is important for both cancer and autoimmunity.”
Prima’s Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, Dr Frederic Triebel, also welcomed the grant and said: “Working alongside one of the leading international groups in structural immunology, we are seeking to determine for the first time how LAG-3 binds with MHC class II and how this interaction is disrupted by the blocking antibodies presently tested as immune checkpoint inhibitors for cancer patients in clinical trials.”
The study will be conducted over a three year period. Professor Rossjohn will have overall oversight of the project and will be responsible for resources management of the grant. As the leading authority on LAG-3, Dr Triebel will provide his expertise and facilitate access to relevant LAG-3 specific constructs, reagents, mAb directed against LAG-3. Prima will also make a small additional cash contribution towards the study and provide staff and materials.
Image credit: Prima Biomed