AMP platform

Targeting the lymph nodes to amplify the immune response

Our Amphiphile (AMP) platform, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), delivers therapeutic payloads directly to the lymph nodes to enhance the cancer-fighting mechanisms of the immune system.

By delivering cancer immunotherapies to the center of the immune response, our platform is intended to optimize the natural ability of the lymph nodes to educate, activate, and amplify cancer-specific T cells. Engineered to coordinate immunity in these uniquely potent sites, our platform is built to amplify the magnitude, potency, quality, and durability of the immune response to drive antitumor activity.

We are committed to applying this lymph node-targeting approach across a range of vaccines, immunomodulators, and adjuvants—training the immune system to put the best cells forward to fight a broad spectrum of cancers.

How it works

AMP platform technology

How it works diagram

Our AMP platform has demonstrated the ability to:

Our AMP-powered immunotherapies have demonstrated the ability to:

Activate immune mechanisms

Improve the ability of T cells to find and enter tumors throughout the body

Expand and activate T-cell response

Improve T-cell persistence

Promote antitumor T-cell function

Reduce the risk of resistance mechanisms

Molecule size matters

Immune responses are orchestrated by key immune cells in the lymph nodes. But for many therapies, getting to these critical sites is far from certain. Small vaccine components and other immunomodulators easily pass through the blood vessel walls at the injection site.1 As a result, they are rapidly flushed away into the systemic circulation, preventing access to the lymph nodes. Often, this results in a failure to realize the full potential of the immune response, or worse yet, leads to the development of dangerous toxicities at other sites in the body.

However, larger proteins, such as albumin, almost exclusively travel from the injection site into the lymph vessels, promoting direct delivery to immune cells in the lymph nodes.1 We believe that lymph node-targeting made possible by utilizing the natural trafficking patterns of larger molecules holds great promise for enhancing immunologic responses and therapeutic efficacy. Built around this concept, our AMP platform leverages albumin “shuttling” by tethering therapeutic payloads to endogenous albumin at the injection site for direct delivery to the lymph nodes.

Elicio Albumen Express diagram
Albumin is a large, readily available protein that is programmed to “shuttle” molecules from the tissues directly into the lymph nodes. Our AMP vaccines contain albumin-binding fatty acids that serve as a “ticket” to ride the albumin shuttle for express service into the lymph nodes. As a result, AMP vaccines are delivered to the specialized immune cells tasked with coordinating the buildup of protective antibody and T-cell immunity.

See how we are harnessing our AMP platform to defeat difficult-to-target cancers

AMP platform publications and presentations

Targeting the Lymph Nodes to Orchestrate Anti-tumor Immunity

Peter DeMuth, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Elicio Therapeutics
Koch Institute Symposia: Cancer Vaccines
June 23, 2023

Amphiphile-CpG vaccination induces potent lymph node activation and COVID-19 immunity in mice and non-human primates

NPJ Vaccines – 2022
Seenappa LM, Jakubowski A, Steinbuck MP, et al.

Enhanced CAR-T cell activity against solid tumors by vaccine boosting through the chimeric receptor

Science – 2019
Ma L, Dichwalkar T, Chang JYH, et al.

Eradication of large established tumors in mice by combination immunotherapy that engages innate and adaptive immune responses

Nature Medicine – 2016
Moynihan KD, Opel CF, Szeto GL, et al.

Structure-based programming of lymph-node targeting in molecular vaccines

Nature – 2014
Liu H, Moynihan KD, Zhang Y, et al.


  1. Steinbuck MP, Seenappa LM, Jakubowski A, McNeil LK, Haqq CM, DeMuth PC. A lymph node–targeted amphiphile vaccine induces potent cellular and humoral immunity to SARS-COV-2. Science Advances. 2021;7(6). doi:10.1126/sciadv.abe5819