Our sMIST technology platform is built upon novel findings that the common vaccine developed against tuberculosis, Bacillus-Calmette Guérin (BCG), can induce long-term changes in the innate immune system with non-specific memory characteristics. The BCG-induced Innate Memory or “Trained Immunity” is mediated by epigenetic changes in innate immune cells leading to cross-protection against other pathogens, malaria or viral infections. Immunotherapy with BCG is also the standard of care only for patients with early-stage, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Intravesical instillation of BCG reduces both the risk of recurrence and progression to muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) and was approved by the FDA in 1990.
Novel sMIST platform is based on the safe, attenuated BCG bacteria that secrete immunomodulatory factors or target mutated tumor antigens to induce innate and adaptive cancer-specific immune responses with the potential for significant synergy with immune checkpoint inhibitors. sMIST is being developed as a therapeutic cancer vaccine or a local therapy with broad utility across different cancer types, including muslce-invasive, advanced and metastatic bladder cancer, and solid tumor types amenable to intralesional treatments.