Adoptive transfer of neoantigen-specific T cells – personalised technology platform

This project aims to revolutionise cancer treatment by combining two emerging clinical concepts: adoptive cell therapy and targeting of tumour-specific neoantigens. The breakthrough will make it possible to manufacture patient-specific T cell products in a cost-efficient, safe and automated process ready for clinics.


Over the last decade, ground-breaking research in understanding the immune system and how to unlock its anti-tumour potential has led to adoptive cell therapies with the potential to eradicate tumours that resist conventional and targeted therapies. T cell responses against mutated peptide ligands serving as neoantigens on cancer cells have been demonstrated to mediate the anti-tumour responses.


TUM School of Medicine, with its university hospital, is a leading German research location, researching areas like tumour development and individualised therapy, infection and immunity. Miltenyi Biotec is one of Germany’s most successful biotechnology companies, constantly developing novel reagents and instruments for use in immunology, cell and molecular biology and genetic engineering. DTU Bioinformatics operates at the highest level of research, teaching, and consultancy in the areas of health informatics and systems genomics.

The project

NEOSPECT will combine cutting edge technology to facilitate efficient production of patient-specific treatments that take cancer therapy to a whole new level.

Neoantigens arise from mutations that only occur in tumour cells and not in normal healthy issue. As they can be present on the surface of cancer cells, they are ideal targets for highly specific anti-tumour immunotherapy. However, as every patient’s tumour expresses a different mutation pattern, neoantigen-based therapy must be extremely individualised.

EIT Health Neospect

Presently, in the post-genome era, advanced technologies like next generation sequencing (NGS) and innovative computational tools allow researchers to quickly scan the mutational range of individual tumours for neoantigens that have high antigenic potential.

Using this information, the corresponding mutation-specific T cells and their T cell receptors (TCR) can be identified rapidly. The final hurdle for clinical application – the manufacturing of efficient cellular products expressing the mutation-specific TCR – will be facilitated by Miltenyi´s novel, fully automated, closed-system CliniMACS Prodigy technology.


This project promises to have a broad impact on patients and society in general by promising advances in cancer therapy:

  • Innovative approach for broadly applicable, scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of neoantigen-specific T cell products, which can greatly improve cancer therapy.
  • Remarkable clinical success of neoantigen-based cancer therapy is applicable to a broad range of tumours.
  • Novel perspectives for large patient groups especially the ageing society.
  • Better cost-benefit ratio for cancer treatment.
Why this is an EIT Health project

An innovation that could greatly improve the results of cancer treatment is clearly in keeping with the EIT health Focus Area of “Improving Care Pathways.”

Dr. Mario Assenmacher
| Senior Manager R&D | Miltenyi Biotec GmbH