Immunovaccine Announces Plans for Phase II Clinical Trial of DPX-Survivac in Patients with Recurrent Lymphoma
Novel Cancer Vaccine to Be Studied in Combination with Immune Modulating Agent
Halifax, Nova Scotia; October 1, 2014 – Immunovaccine Inc. (“Immunovaccine” or “IMV”) (TSX-V: IMV), a clinical stage vaccine and immunotherapy company, today provided a clinical development program update for DPX-Survivac, the Company’s lead cancer vaccine candidate. Following the presentation of positive Phase I/II clinical trial data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2014 Annual Meeting earlier this year, the Company plans to advance DPX-Survivac into a Phase II clinical study in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) later this year. The trial will evaluate DPX-Survivac in combination with oral cyclophosphamide, an immune modulating agent, in patients with recurrent DLBCL. This combination therapy trial design fits with Immunovaccine’s clinical development strategy of maximizing therapeutic impact through concurrent treatment with various classes of promising immunotherapies.
“Our presentation of the first evidence of clinical activity for DPX-Survivac at the ASCO conference generated considerable interest from researchers around the world for studying the cancer vaccine in a range oncologic indications and with various combination approaches,” said Dr. Marc Mansour, chief executive officer of Immunovaccine. “Following discussions with many key thought leaders and clinical researchers, we have outlined a clinical development strategy designed to generate meaningful data supporting the therapeutic benefit of DPX-Survivac in multiple cancer types with important unmet treatment needs. To this end, we are excited to initiate this trial in recurrent lymphoma, as well as studies in other cancer types, in the coming quarters.”
The efficacy Phase II trial will launch at the Odette-Sunnybrook Cancer Centre with the expectation of adding additional sites in the coming months. Researchers will seek to enroll up to 24 patients, with the first patient expected to be dosed by early 2015. The open label study is designed to determine the objective response rate of patients with recurrent survivin-expressing DLBCL when treated with DPX-Survivac in combination with low dose oral cyclophosphamide. Immunovaccine expects to have initial clinical data from this study available approximately mid 2015. Positive clinical data from this study could provide rationale for the initiation of a pivotal trial in recurrent DLBCL.
Study investigators will monitor patients’ immune response to treatment and examine lymphoma deposit biopsies to evaluate immunological changes and gene expression profiles in the tumor. Additionally, the duration of patient clinical responses will also be documented in extended follow-up.
Lymphoma is a relevant oncologic target for DPX-Survivac as more than half of all aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas such as DLCBL express survivin, the tumor-associated antigen that serves as the basis for the vaccine. Furthermore, there is a growing body of clinical research that shows activity for immune modulatory agents such as cyclophosphamide in DLCBL. Importantly, lymphoma represents a significant unmet medical need as patients who are not transplant candidates or who experience recurrence following an autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) lack additional treatment options.
“The promising results from the DPX-Survivac Phase I/Ib ovarian cancer studies, as well as expanding scientific literature highlighting the clinical activity of immune modulators in lymphoma, provide a strong scientific rationale for this study. There is a clear and important unmet medical need in this area of lymphoma management and we are eager to evaluate the potential of this combination therapy to deliver clinical benefit to those patients,” said Neil Berinstein, M.D., Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and medical oncologist at the Odette-Sunnybrook Cancer Centre, one of the sites at which the lymphoma trial will be conducted.
DPX-Survivac consists of survivin-based peptide antigens formulated in the DepoVax™ adjuvanting platform. Survivin has been recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a promising tumor-associated antigen (TAA) because of its therapeutic potential and its cancer specificity. Survivin is broadly over-expressed in solid tumors and blood cancers including ovarian, breast, colon and lung cancers, among others. Survivin plays an essential role in antagonizing apoptosis, supporting tumor-associated angiogenesis, and promoting resistance to various anti-cancer therapies. Survivin is also a prognostic factor for many cancers and it is found in high percentage of cancer patients.
The DPX-Survivac vaccine is thought to work by eliciting a cytotoxic T cell immune response against cells presenting survivin peptides on HLA class I molecules. This targeted therapy attempts to use the immune system to actively search for tumor cells expressing survivin and destroy them.
DepoVax™ is a patented formulation that provides controlled and prolonged exposure of antigens plus adjuvant to the immune system, resulting in a strong, specific and sustained immune response with the potential for single-dose effectiveness. The DepoVax platform is flexible and can be used with a broad range of target antigens for preventative or therapeutic applications. The technology is designed to be commercially scalable, with the potential for years of shelf life stability.
Immunovaccine Inc. develops cancer immunotherapies and infectious disease vaccines based on the Company’s DepoVax™ platform, a patented formulation that provides controlled and prolonged exposure of antigens and adjuvant to the immune system. Immunovaccine has advanced two T cell activation therapies for cancer through Phase I human clinical trials. Lead cancer vaccine therapy, DPX-Survivac, is expected to enter Phase II clinical studies in both ovarian cancer and glioblastoma (brain cancer), with Immunovaccine also exploring additional studies in other indications including lymphoma and recurrent ovarian cancer. The Company is also advancing an infectious disease pipeline including innovative vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), anthrax and Ebola virus.
Connect at www.imvaccine.com
This press release contains forward-looking information under applicable securities law. All information that addresses activities or developments that we expect to occur in the future, is forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. However, they should not be regarded as a representation that any of the plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to risks affecting the company, including access to capital, the successful completion of clinical trials and receipt of all regulatory approvals. Immunovaccine Inc. assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements in this press release except as required by law.
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Dr. Marc Mansour, Chief Executive Officer, Immunovaccine Inc.
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Tim Brons, Vida Strategic Partners (media)
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