Vienna, Austria.—UbiVac, www.ubivac.com, a private, clinical-stage immuno-oncology company with a vaccine that educates the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer, is releasing new data at the 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), a meeting of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) held December 4-7 in Vienna. Rachel Sanborn, M.D., principal investigator for the US National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported study, has documented the ability of UbiVac’s DRibble® cancer vaccine, DPV-001, to induce immunity against a spectrum of antigens that are over-expressed in NSCLC and associated with reduced survival.
Dr. Sanborn’s work suggests that vaccination with DPV-001 might improve response rates and durability of response to checkpoint blockade therapy in the majority of patients who lack effective anti-cancer immunity. DPV-001, a 100-plus antigen, vaccine-based immunotherapy has induced or boosted broad anti-cancer responses in all patients studied to date.
UbiVac’s research findings include results of its randomized phase II adjuvant clinical trial in patients with definitively-treated stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most common type of lung cancer. “Induction of immunity against these genes commonly over-expressed in NSCLC is an exciting first step,” said Dr. Sanborn, “It suggests that combining DPV-001 vaccination with checkpoint blockade could increase response rates in the majority of patients with NSCLC that lack apparent anti-cancer immunity.” Evaluation of DPV-001-induced T cell responses is continuing.
Dr. Sanborn also is reporting results of initial studies showing that vaccinated patients generated CD4 and CD8 T cell immunity against lung cancer cells. “These data correlate with our preclinical studies showing DRibble® vaccine-induced T cell responses against cancer,” said Dr. Hong-Ming Hu, UbiVac co-founder and chief scientific officer. He added, “The DRibble vaccine could be an important addition to treatment options for many lung cancer patients.”
According to the World Health Organization, 1.59 million people will die of lung cancer in 2016. In the US more men and women will die of lung cancer than any other cancer.
UbiVac co-founder and CEO Dr. Bernard A. Fox provides additional insight. “Anti-PD-1 agents such as Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab can achieve substantial anti-cancer effects in patients with NSCLC. Unfortunately, the majority of patients fail to respond, and many who experience regression ultimately progress and die of their disease,” he notes.
“Since anti-PD-1 works by taking the brakes off of the immune system, patients lacking an immune response against their cancer fail to respond. Further, it is hypothesized that patients who have an immune response against only a limited number of cancer ‘targets’ can experience an initial tumor regression, but ultimately the tumor will continue to grow as it evades the limited immune response. UbiVac believes that inducing immunity against a large number of cancer antigens found in lung cancer is required to improve response rates to anti-PD-1 therapy and potentially cure patients.”
UbiVac’s patented platform technology is based on autophagy, a discovery that has provided paradigm changing results in animal models and has led to a series of clinical trials. Results of these clinical studies, including those presented by Dr. Sanborn at WCLC, document the potential for UbiVac’s lead vaccine to induce and/or boost the immune system of patients sufficiently to recognize and potentially destroy their cancer.
This ability to activate the immune system to recognize cancer is a disruptive first step for the immuno-oncology sector because only patients with pre-existing immunity are expected to respond to checkpoint blockade therapy. Several leaders in the field have suggested that many or most patients with cancer lack anti-cancer immunity, limiting the effectiveness of this therapy. UbiVac’s DPV-001, a 100+ antigen vaccine-based immunotherapy has induced or boosted broad anti-cancer responses in all patients studied to date. UbiVac’s next step is to combine DPV-001 with anti-PD-1 antibodies that can overcome cancer.
UbiVac’s DRibble technology has been formulated as the ideal companion for combination immunotherapy, and is complimentary to the pipelines of major pharmaceutical companies currently developing immuno-oncology therapies. In addition to the phase II trial in NSCLC, UbiVac’s technology is in a clinical trial for men with prostate cancer and plans to open a trial for patients with breast cancer. UbiVac recently expanded its laboratory and office facilities in Portland, Oregon with a second location that provides more than 15,000 square feet for manufacturing DPV-001 and staff additions necessary to further advance the company’s technology.
Contact: Patricia Pearson, email@example.com
Award Number R44CA121612 from the National Cancer Institute supports the research and clinical trial of DPV-001 in patients with NSCLC. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
UbiVac is a clinical stage Immuno-Ongology company engaged in development of immunotherapies to combat cancer. UbiVac’s DPV-001 is currently in a Phase II randomized multi-center adjuvant study for non-small cell lung cancer. UbiVac has ongoing preclinical and discovery programs using DRibble, nanoparticles and spread-defective Cytomegalovirus (sdCMV). Founded in Portland, Ore. in 2005 by Drs. Bernard A. Fox and Hong Ming Hu, UbiVac is a spinout of the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute at Providence Portland Medical Center. In 2011 UbiVac, in cooperation with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), created UbiVac CMV to license sdCMV.
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s (IASLC), World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) is the world’s largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. More than 7,000 delegates come from more than 100 countries to discuss the latest developments in thoracic malignancy research. Attendees include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists, epidemiologists, basic research scientists, nurses and allied health professionals and patients.