Zelluna is founded on three decades of cutting-edge research at the Norwegian Radium Hospital.
Prof Gustav Gaudernack is one of the pioneers within the field of peptide based cancer vaccines and initiated the first ever clinical trial on a cancer vaccine targeting KRAS neo-antigens in 1993. The following years, several clinical trials on peptide vaccines targeting RAS, hTERT and TGFBRII were conducted. Strikingly, some of the patients from these trials experienced complete remission from the disease and remained cancer free. This effect was attributed to a potent and sustained T cell response against the tumour induced by the vaccine.
The Immunotherapy Department and the Clinical Trial Units at the Radium Hospital collected biomaterial from these long-term survivors over several years and this serves as a highly valuable source of material for discovery of tumour antigen specific T cell receptors.
A TCR discovery team was then created through the joint effort of Prof Gustav Gaudernack and Prof Gunnar Kvalheim (Head of the Department for Cellular Therapy), Dr Sébastien Wälchli (Head of TCR Discovery Platform) and Dr Else Marit Inderberg (Head of the Immunomonitoring Unit, Project Leader) at the Norwegian Radium Hospital to develop T-cell based cancer therapies.