Technologies

There is a new paradigm for treating cancer that not only complements current therapies, it offers a clear potential for a cure. Immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells.

The immune system is designed to keep the body in balance and in health. Cancer is a condition where the body’s own cells begin to multiply out of control. This is because the body’s cancer fighting cells—T cells and others—do not see the cancer cell as abnormal. In other situations, the immune attack cells see the cancer as abnormal, but can’t destroy it because of certain inhibitors, called “checkpoints.”

New classes of drugs can block these inhibitors, essentially taking the brakes off the immune system. This allows the cells that attack the cancer cells to effectively do their job and return the body to one of healthful balance. The new paradigm—offered by these new drugs –is an important step in not just treating, but eliminating cancer.

The presence of anti-cancer immune cells, specifically cancer killer cells, is critical for effective treatment. Additionally, the more cancer killer cells that recognize different parts of the cancer antigens, the more likely patients will experience regression and possible cure.

UbiVac’s DRibble immunotherapy is a first in class technology that combines more than 100 cancer targets, including at least 13 NCI prioritized cancer antigens, together with five immune stimulants, a spectrum of heat shock proteins and chaperones—all packaged in micro-vesicles that are targeted to dendritic cells, which can educate immune cells to recognize cancer.

UbiVac’s DRibble is a first-in-class technology that combines more than 100 cancer targets…all packaged in dendritic cell targeted micro-vesicles…which can educate immune cells to recognize cancer.”

More than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications document a correlation between an anti-cancer immune response and better clinical outcome.

DRibble vaccines are autophagosome-enriched biological products that have applications for combating both cancer and infectious diseases. UbiVac’s DRibble (DPV-001) contains a spectrum of targets (antigens) that are expressed by most common human cancers, including adenocarcinoma and squamous cell cancers. DRibble has the potential to be an effective “off the shelf” vaccine for these diseases which includes cancers of the lung, prostate, breast, colon, stomach, head and neck, and pancreas.

The immunotherapy is initially administered by ultrasound-guided injection directly into lymph nodes where it have maximum effect on stimulation of an immune response. T-cells and B cells respond to the vaccine, become activated, multiply, leave the lymph node and travel through the tissues of the body in search of their targets. They actively seek out and destroy cancer cells in all parts of the body.

DPV-001 (DRibble) is currently being tested in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and prostate cancer. (See Pipeline for updates.)

Sample-Tray

UbiVac’s NanoParticle Immunotherapy Platform is a related technology currently in preclinical trials. (Preclinical trials involve laboratory studies prior to testing on humans). Its applications include Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and positive cancers, including associated anogenital malignancies, head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) and cervical cancer.

The role of this therapy is to activate the immune response on a limited number of antigens expressed by the cancers. Preclinical studies by Dr. Hong-Ming Hu, UbiVac, document that nanoparticles, coupled with antigens, are capable of generating a significantly improved immune response. Successful completion of this project will provide proof of concept for treatment of the target cancers and a vaccine platform that can be used for additional cancer types. (See Pipeline for updates.)

NanoParticles, coupled with antigens, are capable of generating a significantly improved immune response..for treatment of target cancers…”
Nature Nanotechnology, 6:645, 2011

UbiVac’s Spread defective Cytomegalovirus Vector (SdCMV) technology is the basis of two products now in preclinical phase. Both seek to improve long-term cancer remission by boosting the T-cell response generated by cancer immunotherapies.

UbiVac, in collaboration with the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and other research partners, have shown that administering a lab-engineered single cycle CMV strain can affect a CD8+ T-cell and B cell immune response. Preliminary studies in two mouse tumor models have been promising. (See Pipeline for current status.)