Latest Developments

BriaCell is currently conducting a Phase I/IIa clinical trial of Bria-IMT™, BriaCell’s lead candidate, in a Combination Study with immune checkpoint inhibitors such as the Incyte drugs retifanlimab, an anti-PD-1 antibody similar to pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®; manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc., and epacadostat, an orally bioavailable small-molecule inhibitor of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1). The Combination Study is listed in as NCT03328026.

About Bria-IMT™ (SV-BR-1-GM)

Developed and characterized by a team of dedicated scientists and clinicians, Bria-IMT™ (SV-BR-1-GM) is a targeted immunotherapy being developed for the treatment of advanced breast cancer (i.e. breast cancer that has spread from the breast or armpit to other areas of the body including the bones, lungs, liver or sometimes the brain.). Bria-IMT™ is a genetically engineered human breast cancer cell line with features of immune cells. It is clinically used as a targeted immunotherapy.

Mechanism of Action of Bria-IMT™: The mechanism of action of Bria-IMT™ is currently under investigation. We hypothesize that Bria-IMT™ both indirectly and directly stimulates the body’s own cancer-fighting cells to attack and destroy breast cancer tumors. INDIRECTLY, Bria-IMT™ produces breast cancer “antigens” (proteins that are expressed in breast cancer cells) that are then recognized by the immune system, which can then recognize those same “antigens” in the patients breast cancer and attack the cancer. In addition, Bria-IMT™ appears to be able to DIRECTLY stimulate these cancer-fighting immune cells markedly boosting the response.

Using BriaCell’s novel technology platform and our strong R&D capabilities, we plan to develop immunotherapies for other cancer indications.


Bria-OTS™ : Off-the-Shelf Personalized Immunotherapy

  • We believe our cellular immunotherapy is most effective when the patient’s HLA-type matches the Bria-IMT™ HLA-type.
  • We are engineering 15 unique HLA types (molecules) into Bria-IMT™, collectively referred to as Bria-OTS™, allowing for matching of over 99% of patients with advanced breast cancer.
  • A simple saliva test is used to determine the HLA-type of each patient.
  • Each patient will then be treated with the appropriate pre-manufactured Bria-OTS™ formulation.
  • Similar cell lines are in development for prostate cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma.
  • A pre-clinical Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is in place with the National Cancer Institute (USA) to investigate the Bria-OTS™ mechanism of action.
  • This approach allows personalized treatment without the need for personalized manufacturing. Additionally, it saves time, and skips expensive and complicated manufacturing procedures associated with other personalized immunotherapy treatments.

Bria-OTS™ : Off-the-Shelf Personalized Immunotherapy


Mechanism of Action of Bria-IMT™ and Bria-OTS™

The mechanism of action of Bria-IMT™/Bria-OTS™ is currently under investigation.

We believe that Bria-IMT™/Bria-OTS™, activates the patient’s immune system to recognize tumor cells and destroy them. We hypothesize that Bria-IMT™/Bria-OTS™, exert their action by stimulating the antigen-presentation system {i.e. the system that presents antigen material on the surface of the tumor cells) – to be recognized by the T cells of the immune system. Specifically, Bria-IMT™/Bria-OTS™, may stimulate the dendritic cells, a key component of the antigen-presenting system, to display certain immunogenic (i.e., immune response-generating) protein fragments to T cells, which activates the T cells to destroy the tumor cells either directly, or by inducing antibodies to the tumor cells. In addition, we also have shown that Bria-IMT™ is capable of directly stimulating cancer-fighting T cells. This further boosts the immune response against the tumor cells and enhances anti-cancer activity.

Our preliminary analyses have shown several up-regulated genes in Bria-IMT™ that encode proteins known to be immunogenic (i.e. immune response-generating), suggesting that Bria-IMT™ can stimulate the immune system against the cancer cells.

Bria-IMT™ is a human breast cancer cell line which expresses Her2/neu (a protein well known for its overexpression in breast cancer but also present on other epithelial malignancies including ovarian, pancreatic, colon, bladder and prostate cancers). Bria-IMT™ has been engineered to produce and secrete granulocyte-macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), a protein that promotes dendritic cell function, a key component of the immune system, and hence activates the immune system.

Bria-IMT™ & Bria-OTS™
Potential Mechanisms of Specific Immune Activation in Advanced Breast Cancer

  1. Bria-IMT/OTS™ produces breast cancer antigens (proteins made by breast cancer cells).
  2. Bria-IMT/OTS™ secretes GM-CSF which further promotes dendritic cell-based antigen presentation (boosts the response).
  3. Breast cancer antigens are taken up by dendritic cells and “presented” to CD4+ and CD8+ T cells implicated in tumor destruction.
  4. Bria-IMT/OTS™ directly stimulates cancer fighting CD4+ and CD8+ T cells (further boosts the response).
  5. Bria-IMT/OTS™ efficacy depends in part on HLA matching of Bria-IMT/OTS™ and the patient.