PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Advaxis, Inc., (OTCBB: ADXS), the live, attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) vaccine company, has entered into a research collaboration with the laboratory of Ellen Puré, Ph.D., professor/associate vice president for Academic Affairs at The Wistar Institute. Dr. Puré's research defines the role of fibroblast activation protein (FAP) in cancer, and she has demonstrated that genetically deleting or therapeutically targeting FAP significantly reduces tumor growth in mice. Advaxis will use these mouse models to explore the potential of FAP as a target for immune attack and as the basis for the development of a live attenuated Listeria vaccine using the company's proprietary Lm-LLO technology.
"We now know that a variety of different cancers can be treated by attacking the blood vessels that are necessary to support tumor cells, and in the same way it may be possible to provide cancer therapy by limiting the supporting tissue matrix (stroma) that tumors need to grow," said Advaxis EVP Dr. Rothman. "Advaxis will use its proprietary Lm-LLO technology to create and test an attenuated Listeria vaccine to FAP, both as a single antigen vaccine, and possibly as a dual antigen vaccine in combination with another tumor target, to see which approach is the most effective. Advaxis' objective is to bring an FAP vaccine to the clinic as soon as possible."
"We are pleased to collaborate with Advaxis in this promising venture by providing the key preclinical models to test the potential efficacy, specificity and safety of their candidate vaccine," Pure said. "Our mouse models will enable Advaxis to define the mechanism of action and to evaluate possible effects that may limit the usefulness of their approach which, I believe, shows potential."
Fibroblast Activation Protein is over-expressed in the stroma of tumors. The stroma is the structural tissue matrix in which tumor cells grow, and part of the stroma are fibroblast cells. Fibroblasts are associated with cancer in all stages of development, since in order for tumors to grow they need to stimulate the growth of the stroma to accommodate the growth of new cancer cells within this matrix. By deactivating FAP in mouse models of lung and colon cancer, the laboratory of Dr. Puré has generated an understanding of how FAP promotes tumor growth. FAP inactivation disrupts the organization of the collagen fibers in the matrix which are critical for cell to cell communication, cell-matrix interactions and development of new blood vessels that feed tumors, the Puré lab has shown (e.g., J. Clin. Invest. 119:3613-3625 2009). The study provides proof of principle that targeting and modifying the tumor microenvironment may be an effective approach to treating a variety of solid tumors.
About the Wistar Institute
The Wistar Institute has been dedicated to expanding the boundaries of the knowledge of biology and medicine for more than a century. Founded in 1892 as the first institution of its kind devoted to medical research and training in the nation, the Institute has evolved from its beginnings as an anatomical teaching museum to its present-day status as an international leader in basic biomedical research. In 1972, The Wistar Institute was designated a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center in basic research-a distinction it holds to this day.
Wistar discoveries have led to the development of vaccines for such diseases as rabies and rubella, the identification of genes associated with breast, lung, and prostate cancer, and the development of monoclonal antibodies and other significant research technologies and tools. The Institute works actively to transfer its inventions to the commercial sector to ensure that research advances with the potential to benefit public health move from the laboratory to the clinic as expeditiously as possible. For more information visit www.wistar.org.
About Advaxis, Inc.
Advaxis is a biotechnology company developing proprietary, live but attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria) vaccines that deliver engineered tumor antigens, which stimulate multiple, simultaneous immunological mechanisms to fight cancer. Our platform technology was developed by Dr. Yvonne Paterson at The University of Pennsylvania. Today, the Company has over nine (9) distinct, cancer-fighting constructs in various stages of development, directly and through strategic collaborations with such recognized sites of excellence as the City of Hope, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the University of Pittsburgh, Cancer Research - UK, the University of British Columbia and the Department of Homeland Security. Please visit the Company's portals: advaxis.com | facebook | twitter | LinkedIn