MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chief Operating Officer
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does HER-Vaxx work?
• The technology originates from the Medical University of Vienna, one of Europe’s leading cancer institutes and was identified in 2012 by Dr Axel Hoos (Currently Sr. Vice President of Oncology R&D at GlaxoSmithKline, previous Clinical Lead on Ipilumimab at Bristol-Myers Squibb, a director at Imugene; his only Board seat worldwide)
• HER-Vaxx is a peptide vaccine designed to treat tumours that over-express the HER2/neu receptor, such as gastric, breast, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers. The vaccine is constructed from various B Cell epitopes of HER2/neu. It has been shown in pre-clinical work and in a Phase 1 study to stimulate a potent polyclonal antibody response to HER2/neu, a commercially and clinically validated cancer target. HER-Vaxx’s successful Phase 1 study was in patients with metastatic breast cancer and the next stage of development will be a Phase 1b/2 study in patients with gastric cancer initiating in 2016.
MedicalResearch.com: How is HER-Vaxx similar/different from other forms of immunotherapy? Who may benefit most from this treatment?
· The scientific turning point for cancer immunotherapy came with a better understanding that T cell based immune responses could be controlled through ‘immune checkpoints’, (on and off like switches) along with ipilimumab (Yervoy) as Axel Hoos was the clinical lead, the field of T-cell based immune oncology therapies exploded with a number of PD-1s and PDL-1s. This success is based on progress in both preclinical and clinical science and largely focused and resourced around T-cell modulation. The B-cell, another function of the immune system has largely been ignored in immune oncology development. Imugene feels that it is important stay innovative and look at other immune-oncology agents across different modalities which could have distinct clinical efficacy and safety profiles.
· The potential safety, efficacy, durability, usability and cost a B-Cell peptide vaccine may/could benefit a variety of patients:
o Safety: Stimulates the immune system to produce natural Abs, potentially safer, as demonstrated by HER-Vaxx’s Phase I study.
o Efficacy: Polyclonal antibody response reduces risk of resistance and potentially increases efficacy.
o Durability: Antibodies continuously produced a lasting immune response to inhibit tumor recurrence.
o Usability: Potentially low numbers of vaccinations required per year.
o Cost: Low cost of production enables greater pricing flexibility facilitating combinations and opening up additional markets.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Imugene is focused on B Cell peptide vaccines for immuno-oncology therapy. Imugene (ASX: IMU) is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and publicly traded on the Australian Securities Exchange. Our technology, created in partnership with the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, allows the creation of B Cell peptide vaccines. Imugene seeks to establish these vaccines as a new class of immuno-oncology agent. Imugene’s clinic-ready B Cell peptide vaccine is HER-Vaxx (IMU-131), initially under development for the treatment of gastric cancer. The company is developing a pipeline of mimotope-based B Cell peptide vaccines against novel and validated oncology targets.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Imugene is building a pipeline of B Cell peptide vaccines. We want to continue to discover and develop mimotope-based immunotherapies against validated and novel oncology targets. This platform has the potential to create novel B Cell peptide vaccines that would replace or augment conventional monoclonal antibodies.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.
More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com