August 7th, 2014
TapImmune Inc. (OTCQB:TPIV) is pleased to announce that a new grant funded Phase I clinical study on the safety and Immunogenicity of folate receptor alpha peptide vaccine in patients with advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer has started at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. The folate receptor alpha peptides being used in this study are the same ones that are being used in a current Phase I study in breast and ovarian cancer. Folate receptor alpha is over a 100 fold elevated in 90% of ovarian cancer cells and is thus an excellent target for immunotherapy.
In this new trial the folate alpha receptor peptides are loaded on to the patients’ own dendritic cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) are often called ‘nature’s adjuvants’ and thus have become an essential target in efforts to generate therapeutic immunity against cancer. Dendritic cell vaccination aims to induce tumour-specific effector T cells (eg, IL 17 secreting T Cells) that can reduce tumor mass specifically and induce immunological memory to control disease relapse. The trial has been funded by a grant to the Mayo Clinic and is currently recruiting patients. Details of this trial can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov under clinical trial NCT02111941.
Glynn Wilson, TapImmune CEO said, “We believe that this new study will help determine the potential of folate receptor alpha vaccines in combination with new approaches that can stimulate the appropriate set of T-cells at the tumor site, for use in difficult to treat cancers such as ovarian and triple-negative breast.”
These peptide antigens were discovered in Dr Keith Knutson’s laboratory at the Mayo Clinic. Dr Knutson is currently Director of the Cancer Vaccines and Immune Therapies Program at the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida, Port St. Lucie, FL, and is an adjunct Associate Professor at the Mayo Clinic. TapImmune has the exclusive option to license the folate receptor alpha technology for all indications.