Immunovaccine Inc., a clinical stage vaccine and immunotherapy company, today announced the publication of research that used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict and optimize the efficacy of its cancer vaccines by measuring size changes in vaccine-draining lymph nodes.
The preclinical study demonstrated that the increase in size of lymph nodes after vaccination with DepoVax Technology indicated the strength of the immune response to the vaccine, and could help monitor and predict therapy success.
“This study has important implications for both our technology platform and clinical development,” said Marc Mansour, CEO of Immunovaccine. “Data indicated that the DepoVax vaccine not only largely reduced tumor loads, it also induced strong responses in lymph nodes, measurable by MRI that predicted treatment efficacy. We believe that MRI imaging could be incorporated into future clinical trials to assist in evaluating early patient response and to adjust treatment regimen to maximize treatment efficacy.”
The DepoVax vaccine adjuvanting platform is a patented vaccine delivery formulation that provides controlled and prolonged exposure of antigens plus adjuvant to the immune system.
The published manuscript entitled, “Using MRI to Evaluate and Predict Therapeutic Success from Depot-based Cancer Vaccines,” appeared in the December 16 edition of Molecular Therapy - Methods and Clinical Development. Immunovaccine and the IWK Health Centre’s Biomedical Translational Imaging Centre (BIOTIC) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, collaborated on the research, which was designed to use standard clinical imaging techniques to predict the outcome of cancer vaccines. This underlined how Immunovaccine’s proprietary DepoVax platform is unique, and it is believed to be the only technology that affects vaccine-draining lymph nodes in a prolonged fashion.
This observable effect on lymph nodes, along with BIOTIC’s exclusive imaging capabilities, enabled direct study in vivo of the DepoVax mechanism of action in real time in vaccinated mice. Researchers were able to observe and record changes in the size of the lymph nodes in which vaccine-induced antigens initiated a targeted immune response.
While immunotherapies offer great promise in the treatment of cancer, because each patient is different, there is a critical need to monitor treatment response in real time. Using monitoring techniques such as MRI, physicians can adjust and personalize a treatment regimen, leading to the greatest chance of achieving successful clinical outcomes.
“We believe that our findings indicate that measuring the size of lymph node changes relatively quickly after vaccination can allow us to predict if the vaccine is able to stimulate the immune system to reduce the size of the tumor,” said Kimberly Brewer, research scientist from the BIOTIC team. “These findings can be translated clinically, which may allow researchers to use standard imaging techniques to determine if cancer immunotherapy is likely to result in positive clinical outcomes for patients.”
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 1 human clinical trials and is currently conducting a Phase 2 study with its lead cancer vaccine therapy, DPX-Survivac, in recurrent lymphoma. DPX-Survivac is expected to enter additional Phase 2 clinical studies in ovarian cancer and glioblastoma (brain cancer). The Company is also advancing an infectious disease pipeline including innovative vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and anthrax.
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Biomedical Translational Imaging Centre (BIOTIC) uses clinical and preclinical imaging tools to produce next-generation healthcare advances. BIOTIC is strategically located in the IWK Health Centre and the Nova Scotia Health Authority, two research-intensive hospitals in Halifax, Canada, allowing for access to diverse patient populations. Working closely with clinicians and researchers from a host of disciplines and specialties, our cross-functional team’s work is centered on prevention, early detection, improved treatment, and prognosis of disease.
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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Drew R. DeBay, Kimberly D. Brewer, Sarah A. LeBlanc, Genevieve M. Weir, Marianne M. Stanford, Marc Mansour, Chris V. Bowen. Using MRI to Evaluate and Predict Therapeutic Success from Depot-based Cancer Vaccines, Molecular Therapy – Methods and Clinical Development (December 16th, 2015; Article number: 15048 (2015); doi:10.1038/mtm.2015.48)