The collaboration between Novartis, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will be focused on the development of biomaterial systems able to overcome barriers hampering traditional cancer vaccines. The implantable and injectable systems are made of biodegradable materials that assemble into porous, three-dimensional structures. In lab experiments, the systems release cell-recruiting factors to attract host dendritic cells and present tumor antigens to those specialized immune cells, intending to bolster immune responses to cancer. Novartis and the Wyss Institute will also investigate their use to deliver agents belonging to Novartis’ second-generation immunotherapies.

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