Prokarium Shares Preclinical Proof-of-Concept Data on Its Microbial Immunotherapy Bladder Cancer Program at SITC 2021

Nov. 11, 2021 09:00 UTC

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Prokarium, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the oncology field of microbial immunotherapy, today shared preclinical data at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) 36th Annual Meeting. The data presented in a scientific poster session establish the preclinical efficacy of their live-attenuated Salmonella enterica Typhi strain ZH9 as a novel microbial immunotherapy in bladder cancer. Prokarium is advancing the program towards the initiation of a clinical trial based on these promising results.

“Microbial immunotherapy, in the form of intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), has been the standard-of-care for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer for 30 years. With BCG therapy suffering product supply shortages and being associated with significant side-effects and high disease recurrence and progression rates, there is huge opportunity for innovation and for a new approach to treating this disease,” said Livija Deban, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Prokarium. “Our data presented at SITC demonstrates that our therapy has the potential to offer a significant benefit over the current standard-of care.”

Therapeutic efficacy of intravesical Salmonella ZH9 was demonstrated in a stringent orthotopic bladder cancer model. Mice treated with a single intravesical dose of ZH9 four days after tumor challenge demonstrated significant survival benefit compared to both the control group and BCG-treated animals (median survival 30 vs. 20.5 (p=0.003) and 23.5 (p=0.025) days, respectively). Surviving ZH9-treated animals demonstrated 100% protection in a tumor rechallenge model, suggesting lasting anti-tumor immunity resulting from ZH9 treatment. Importantly, a single treatment with intravesical ZH9 resulted in a strong local immune response characterized by recruitment of NK cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and dendritic cells with an activated, cross-presenting (Ly6C+, CD103+) phenotype. In addition, the efficacy of intravesical ZH9 is further increased by a systemic priming dose of Salmonella, which recruits immune cells within the bladder prior to the intravesical dose, enhancing subsequent anti-tumor responses.

Presentation Details:
Novel microbial immunotherapy approach for the treatment of bladder cancer
Poster Number: 878
Presenter: Livija Deban, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Prokarium
Date/Time: Saturday, November 13, 2021

Full text of the abstracts was released on the SITC website at 7:00 a.m. ET on November 9, 2021.


Bladder cancer represents 5% of all new cancer cases in the US and accounts for 550,000 new cases yearly worldwide. The clinical staging is determined by the depth of invasion into the bladder wall and more than 70% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage, also known as Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC). Despite the early diagnosis, the only approved therapies are Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) and chemotherapy. Bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate of any known cancers (up to 80%), which makes it one of the most expensive cancers to treat, and patients ultimately require surgical bladder removal (cystectomy), associated with increased morbidity/reduced quality of life.

About Prokarium

Prokarium is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the field of microbial immunotherapy. Our pipeline is designed to unlock the next level of immuno-oncology by building on the most recent advances in cancer immunology. Prokarium’s lead program is focused on transforming the treatment paradigm in bladder cancer by orchestrating immune-driven, long-lasting antitumor effects. Prokarium is based London, UK. For further information, visit

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Source: Prokarium

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