Our Approach

Cancer’s Unique Mutational Fingerprint

DNA mutations are the cause of cancer and fuel its unchecked development and spread. Furthermore, additional mutations are acquired during cancer evolution, which promotes escape mechanisms from various therapeutic approaches. In some cases, these mutations lead to abnormal peptides that can be recognized by the immune system as foreign, just like the immune system recognizes foreign peptides from bacteria or viruses. These foreign peptides are called neoantigens.

For some patients, these neoantigens can prompt a potent immune response, wiping out the cancer without treatment or with the help of immuno-oncology medicines like immune checkpoint inhibitors.

For many other patients, however, neoantigens fail to elicit a significant response.

At Neon Therapeutics, understanding each person’s unique mutational fingerprint defines the right treatment strategy and allows us to create customized therapies designed to stimulate each patient’s immune system to recognize and eliminate his or her cancer.

Neoantigens: Cancer’s Untapped Vulnerability

We are leading the clinical development of multiple approaches to engage the immune system to fight cancer cells by targeting neoantigens, important surface markers on cancer cells that derive directly from cancer mutations. Neoantigens are key immunologic hallmarks that distinguish cancer cells from normal cells.

Our increasingly sophisticated understanding of immuno-oncology has demonstrated the central role of neoantigens in the immune system’s ability to recognize and kill cancer. Trailblazing research from our scientific founders has established strong evidence that neoantigen-specific T cells are targets in checkpoint inhibitor-mediated, anti-tumor immunity.

We have also found that neoantigen peptide vaccines synergize with checkpoint blockades to enhance survival and tumor killing. Individualized neoantigen vaccines, additionally, can stimulate a broad and deep immune response, delivering early, but intriguing, clinical outcome differences. Neon Therapeutics is proud that initial feasibility, safety, immunogenicity and clinical outcomes for a personalized neoantigen vaccine in patients with adjuvant melanoma were published by founders of Neon Therapeutics in Nature in 2017.

Scientific Capabilities


  • Mass
    Spectrometry

  • Bioinformatics

  • T Cell
    Biology

  • Peptide
    Chemistry

  • Personal
    Manufacturing

  • Immune
    Monitoring

CLINICAL STRATEGIES

Personalized Vaccine NEO-PV-01
Personalized T Cell Therapy NEO-PTC-01

For cancers with a highly heterogeneous mutational fingerprint, treatments designed and manufactured uniquely for each individual.

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Select Neoantigen Program

For cancer types marked by select mutations that result in validated neoantigens, treatments designed and manufactured at scale for distinct molecular subtypes of cancer.

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