Developing therapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer based on the invention of Dr Shisong Jiang – Recombinant Overlapping Peptides (ROP)


The immune system employs specialised agents to attack particular targets on invading organisms and tumours. These can be either antibodies or a type of T Cells (often called cytotoxic T Lymphocytes or CTL). These CTLs are produced when a T Cell encounters a protein or other molecule it considers to be foreign and not normally found in the body. The T Cell that recognises these foreign agents is then multiplied to provide a defence against the invading organism or tumour.

Recombinant Overlapping Peptide

Tumours can often avoid being targeted by these T Cells by looking like a cell found normally in the body often referred to as “self”. If a group of T Cells can be encouraged to recognise these tumours as foreign and not self then they will attack the tumour and provide an effective treatment against it.

Injecting a preparation that stimulates these T Cells effectively vaccinates the patient against the tumour providing immediate treatment and longer term protections against it. The Oxford Vacmedix technology – the Recombinant Overlapping Peptides – is a powerful preparation that delivers just this result.

Overlapping peptides have been found to be very effective in providing treatment for cervical cancer in early work (Ref Kenter et al.,New England Journal of Medicine, 2009, 361: 1838 – 1847). These materials had to be produced synthetically making them both expensive and hard to produce consistently. The patented Recombinant Overlapping approach produces a much more effective which is both simpler and more economical to produce.

T Cell Receptor

In the image below the Recombinant Overlapping Peptide is the “Antigen” being presented to the T Cell Receptor (TCR). This then triggers the growth of T Cells that will recognise the same marker on cancer cells leading to their destruction.

Image courtesy of BioPharma Dealmakers, September 2017​

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