VGTI Florida to coordinate cancer study design and trial sites selection
November 18, 2014
The Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI Florida), a leading, non-profit biomedical research institute, today announced a new collaborative research agreement with TapImmune, Inc., forming a partnership to advance TapImmune’s proprietary, targeted cancer vaccines into mid-stage, Phase II human clinical trials for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers.
These highly promising therapeutic cancer vaccine candidates were developed by VGTI Florida’s Director of Cancer Vaccines and Immune Therapies Program, Keith Knutson, Ph.D. The goal is to prevent breast and ovarian cancer recurrence for patients who achieve remissions following standard-of-care treatment. The vaccine works by enabling the immune system to target and eradicate any residual cancer cells or newly arising cancer cells that express the antigens delivered by the vaccine. VGTI Florida will work with TapImmune to design and execute the Phase II clinical programs. This includes the design of the clinical protocols, selection of clinical trial sites, recruitment of key opinion leaders as clinical advisors, and selection of external manufacturing and clinical resources. TapImmune has the exclusive commercialization rights for these vaccines.
Dr. Knutson explained the urgent need for a targeted cancer vaccine approach, “While modern cancer treatment regimens have significantly improved remission rates in patients diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancers, the stark reality is that cancer survivors continue to have a substantial risk of disease recurrence. This is largely because of tumor cells that escape from being destroyed during primary treatment. All it takes is a few malignant cells to continue to circulate in the body until they eventually anchor and metastasize. Because these cancer cells already survived primary therapy, they are typically drug-resistant and much more difficult to treat.”
Dr. Knutson’s cancer vaccine technology offers a solution because the vaccine targets proteins expressed on the patient’s tumor cells. Antigens contained in each vaccine are genetically matched to the antigens expressed on the surface of the individual’s tumor cells, determined by genetic and molecular profiling. This results in a targeted, potent immune response with few side-effects.
About TapImmune, Inc.
TapImmune Inc. (OTCQB: TPIV) is an immunotherapy company specializing in the development of innovative vaccine technologies for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease. The Company’s vaccine compositions, peptide or nucleic acid-based, comprise one or multiple naturally processed epitopes (NPEs) designed to comprehensively stimulate a patients’ killer T-cells, helper T-cells and to restore or further augment antigen presentation by using proprietary nucleic acid-based expression systems. The Company’s vaccine compositions may be used as stand-alone medications or in combination with current treatment modalities. Please visit the Company’s website at www.tapimmune.com for details.
About the Center for Diseases of Aging at VGTI Florida:
The Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI Florida) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) biomedical research institute that is positioned for its next stage of growth with the launch of the Center for Diseases of Aging (CDA). The CDA is a joint mission with researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute (KI), known for awarding the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology annually. This initiative was made possible by a $3 million follow-on investment by the State of Florida and will accelerate the advancement of VGTI Florida’s core competencies in developing genome-based approaches that target the treatment of infectious disease, cancers, neurodegenerative conditions, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders using next-generation approaches such as regenerative medicine and personalized immunotherapies. For more information, please visit: www.vgtifl.org