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OncoPep Strengthens Pipeline with Addition of Multi-Tumor Antigen Adoptive T Cell Therapy

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OncoPep, Inc. today announced a licensing agreement with MANA Therapeutics for use of its EDIFY™ platform for the development of an autologous multi-tumor antigen adoptive T cell therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma and solid tumors, as an additional T cell focused immunotherapeutic for its product pipeline.

"The addition of a multi-antigen adoptive T cell therapy to our pipeline expands the breadth of our immuno-oncology programs in multiple myeloma in addition to solid tumors, and provides patients with another potential treatment option for a disease for which there is no cure," said Doris Peterkin, Chief Executive Officer of OncoPep. "Our initial focus will be developing this unique adoptive T cell therapy for the potential treatment of patients with multiple myeloma."

OncoPep is developing the adoptive T cell therapy as part of a licensing agreement with MANA Therapeutics. MANA's EDIFY™ platform is specifically designed to train T cells to target multiple tumor associated antigens, harnessing the patient's immune system for an approach that targets a broader set of antigens expressed by the tumor. In this collaboration, a patient's T cells will be trained ex vivo with EDIFY™ to target the antigens, XBP1, CD138 and CS1, which are highly over-expressed in multiple myeloma and other solid tumors. OncoPep's lead therapeutic cancer vaccine candidate, PVX-410, is also designed to train T cells to target XBP1, CD138 and CS1 and could potentially be used in combination with the adoptive T cell therapy. This new adoptive T cell therapy approach has the potential to provide more persistent and durable control over tumor cell growth and could prevent the progression of cancer and improve quality of life for patients with multiple myeloma.

"The OncoPep team has developed a deep scientific understanding of multiple myeloma and the complexities of the disease," said Martin Silverstein, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MANA Therapeutics. "MANA's EDIFY™ platform has already been studied in two clinical trials using ManaMix™ antigens, and is being deployed in additional clinical trials under MANA's INDs. We are pleased to enter into a licensing agreement with OncoPep that will expand the application of our EDIFY™ platform to a new set of tumor antigens that are over-expressed in multiple myeloma and specified solid tumors."

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a debilitating type of hematologic cancer that affects plasma cells. It is the second most common blood cancer, accounting for 13% of all hematologic cancers and 1% of all cancer deaths. MM is characterized by a proliferation of malignant plasma cells, which may in turn interfere with the normal production of blood cells. MM causes significant side effects, such as debilitating bone pain and fractures, anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, renal insufficiency and failure, hypercalcemia and increased chance of infection.

About OncoPep

OncoPep is developing targeted immunotherapeutics to prevent the progression of cancer, prolong survival and restore the quality of life of patients. OncoPep's lead program is an investigational, multi-peptide therapeutic vaccine being evaluated in treating smoldering multiple myeloma. www.oncopep.com

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