Nouscom highlights innovative science behind VENUS, its novel algorithm for identifying and prioritizing patient-specific tumor neoantigens for personalized cancer immunotherapy

 In Publications
  • VENUS (Vaccine-Encoded Neoantigens Unrestricted Selection) is Nouscom’s proprietary algorithm designed to enhance the predictive accuracy of personalized neoantigen selections that may induce an effective immune response against tumor cells
  • New research paper, entitled ‘VENUS, a Novel Selection Approach to Improve the Accuracy of Neoantigens’ Prediction’, to be published in special edition of Vaccines

BASEL, Switzerland – 10th August 2021: Nouscom, a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing off-the-shelf and personalized cancer neoantigen vaccines, today announces the online publication of new research describing its novel and proprietary algorithm for the identification and prioritization of patient-specific tumor neoantigens, VENUS.

The VENUS algorithm predicts tumor specific mutated peptides that have the highest likelihood of inducing an immune response and act as neoantigens. Each neopeptide is assigned a score that combines its abundance and expression across tumor cells, with the likelihood of being presented on the tumor cell surface.

The paper entitled: “VENUS, a Novel Selection Approach to Improve the Accuracy of Neoantigens’ Prediction” (G. Leoni, A.M. D’Alise et al, reference below) has been published in the special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Vaccines focused on cancer neo-antigen vaccines.

The publication describes the predictive power of VENUS both in silico and in vivo when incorporated into Nouscom’s heterologous prime boost viral vector platform. In silico, the authors demonstrated VENUS’ ability to select 19 out of 20 neo-antigens inducing spontaneous CD8 or CD4 T cell mediated immune responses, from the top 60 ranked mutated peptides from 9 cancer patients.

In addition, an adenoviral vector vaccine encoding the top 60 ranked mutations, demonstrated efficacy and a potent T cell response, when used in combination with an anti-PD1 checkpoint inhibitor, in a murine cancer model.

The VENUS algorithm, in combination with Nouscom’s heterologous prime/boost viral vector platform, comprising a proprietary non-human adenoviral vector (GAd) and Modified Vaccinia Ankara vector (MVA), has been used to develop NOUS-PEV, a novel personalized cancer immunotherapy. NOUS-PEV is being evaluated in a Phase 1b clinical trial in combination with the anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab in patients with either locally advanced 1L melanoma or 1L non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) expressing more than 50% PD-L1. The trial (NCT04990479) is currently enrolling patients across multiple sites in Europe.

Dr. Elisa Scarselli, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Nouscom, said: “The data published in Vaccines highlights the significance of using VENUS to enhance the accuracy of neoantigen prediction for cancer vaccine development. Combining VENUS with Nouscom’s viral vector platform allows the targeting of up to 60 tumor mutations in each patient that can generate broad and deep immune responses, potentially overcoming issues of tumor heterogeneity and escape through immunoediting. This could be an important advantage for Nouscom’s approach to personalized cancer immunotherapy.”

“We look forward to announcing the first patient being dosed with Nouscom’s personalized immunotherapy, NOUS-PEV.’’ 


  1. Leoni, A.M. D’Alise et al. VENUS, a Novel Selection Approach to Improve the Accuracy of Neoantigens’ Prediction Vaccines (MDPI).

Online publication:

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