Imugene to present cancer vaccine programs to the American Association for Cancer Research

By Meagan Evans. Published at Mar 4, 2019, in Biotech

Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company, today announced Dr Tanios Bekaii-Saab from the Mayo Clinic will present on its KEYVaxx and B-Vaxx cancer vaccine programs at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2019 Annual Meeting.

IMU is developing a range of new and novel immunotherapies that seek to activate the immune system of cancer patients to treat and eradicate tumours. It seeks to harness the body’s immune system to generate antibodies against tumours, potentially achieving a similar or greater effect than synthetically manufactured monoclonal antibody therapies.

IMU’s product pipeline includes multiple immunotherapy B-cell vaccine candidates aimed at treating a variety of cancers in combination with standard of care drugs and emerging immunotherapies.

IMU’s KEY-Vaxx is a B-cell peptide cancer vaccine designed to treat tumours such as lung cancer by interfering with PD-1/PD-L1 binding and interaction, and produce an anti-cancer effect similar to Keytruda, Opdivo and the other immune checkpoint inhibitor monoclonal antibodies that are transforming treatment of a range of cancers.

When combined with B-Vaxx, KEY-Vaxx, has shown great potential in preclinical studies, showing robust PD-1 and HER-2 antibody responses in all vaccinated mice. This indicates that the combined vaccination is effective in reducing tumour growth in a Balb/c syngeneic model of colon carcinoma versus either the PD-1 vaccine alone or more importantly the positive control gold standard that is anti-mouse PD-1 monoclonal antibody.

The presentations to the AACR Annual Meeting, scheduled for March 29 to April 3, 2019, will be presented by Dr Saab, the co-inventor of the KEY-Vaxx and B-Vaxx cancer vaccines with Professor Pravin Kaumaya, and member of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board.

The abstract presentations are titled:

  • Development of a novel PD-1 vaccine and in combination with two Chimeric HER-2 peptide vaccine provides synergistic inhibition of tumour growth in a syngeneic Balb/c model challenged with CT26/HER-2 carcinoma cell line’
  • A Phase I Active Immunotherapy Trial With a Combination of Two Chimeric (Trastuzumab-like and Pertuzumab-like) Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER-2) B Cell Peptide Vaccine Emulsified in ISA 720 and Nor-MDP Adjuvant in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors

The abstracts were authored by Dr Saab from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Phoenix, AZ and researchers, including Prof. Kaumaya at the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA and Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

The Phase I B-Vaxx trial studied the side effects and best dose of vaccine therapy in treating patients with metastatic solid tumours. Vaccines made from antibodies and peptides may help the body build an effective immune response to kill tumour cells.

The open-label, dose escalation study evaluated B-Vaxx in patients with solid tumours that over express the HER-2/neu receptor. B-Vaxx has been shown to stimulate a potent polyclonal antibody response to HER-2/nue, a well established and validated cancer target.

B-Vaxx is a proprietary B-cell peptide cancer vaccine being developed by Imugene and targeting multiple oncology indications. A Phase 2 study evaluating the activity of B-Vaxx in patients over expressing HER-2/nue is being conducted at renowned clinical institutions in the US.

The abstract describes data from preclinical studies and a Phase I study conducted by the research team at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Centre led by Professor Kaumaya with BVaxx for the treatment of solid tumours.

The content of the presentations will be made available at the start of the conference and will be made available online after the start of the meeting. An additional abstract detailing research from Imugene’s PD-1 Mimotope (Medical University of Vienna) program has also been accepted for poster presentation.

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