PARIS and BOSTON, Dec. 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NEOVACS (Alternext Paris:ALNEV), a leader in active immunotherapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, announced today its engagement into the field of immuno-oncology. The decision is based on recommendations by the Company's Scientific Advisory Board, which met on November 17, 2015 in New York.
Neovacs convened its Scientific Advisory Board with the clear mission to identify novel cytokine/growth factor targets in oncology. Neovacs' proprietary technology is based on active immunotherapy, which stimulates a patients immune system to produce polyclonal antibodies, neutralizing pathogenic proteins.
As a result of their work, the Scientific Advisory Board recommended Neovacs to focus on the preclinical development of specific Kinoid's targeting:
The Neutralization of tumoral growth factors including VEGF-A in different types of cancer, in particular colorectal cancer and ovarian cancers.
In phase I/II trial the Company's IFNα Kinoid demonstrated in lupus patients its ability to obtain :
- A strong immune response in 100% of the patients (21/21 exposed to IFN-K)
- A high level of neutralizing antibodies in the patients at the highest doses
- A reduction of the IFN gene signature to the base level
- Six patients from the trial were followed up for a median duration of 3 years by Neovacs, because they still have persisting anti IFNα antibodies. These six patients had no flares during this period.
Considering this capacity of the Kinoids to inhance a strong immune response, the scientific advisory board met under the chairmanship of Prof. Jacques BANCHEREAU, Director for Immunological Science, Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington, Conn.
The following scientists participated in this meeting:
- Prof. Tanios Bekali-SAAB,MD,Section Chief of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Professor of Medecine & Pharmacy, The Ohio State University Cancer Hospital, Ohio
- Prof. Maura N. DICKLER, MD, Medical Oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York
- Prof. Robert S. KERBEL, PhD, Senior Scientist and Professor, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Biological Sciences Platform, and Dept. of Medical Biophysics,University of Toronto, Canada
- Prof. Miriam MERAD, MD, PhD, Professor of Oncological Science, Medicine and Immunology Tisch Cancer Institute , Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
- Prof. Virginia PASCUAL, MD, Director, Center for Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases, Baylor Institute, Dallas, Texas
- Prof. Richard T. PENSON, MD, MRCP, Associate Professor, Medecine, Harvard Medical School, Clinical Director for Medical Gynecologic Oncology, Boston, MA
- Prof. Laurence ZITVOGEL, MD, PhD, Director of INSERM U1015, Head of Dpt. of Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy at Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France
This program on oncology will be pursued in close cooperation with Prof. Robert S. Kerbel, and the Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Canada. The objective is to obtain proof of concept in relevant preclinical models in the course of 2016, before initiating clinical trials. These studies will be funded within actual cash on-hand.
Created in 1993, Neovacs is today a leading biotechnology company focused on an active immunotherapy technology platform (Kinoids) with applications in autoimmune and/or inflammatory diseases. On the basis of the company's proprietary technology for inducing a polyclonal immune response (covered by five patent families that potentially run until 2032) Neovacs is focusing its clinical development efforts on IFNα-Kinoid, an immunotherapy being developed for the indication of lupus and dermatomyositis. Neovacs is also conducting preclinical development works on other therapeutic vaccines in the fields of auto-immune diseases, oncology and allergies. The goal of the Kinoid approach is to enable patients to have access to safe treatments with efficacy that is sustained in these life-long diseases.
For more information on Neovacs, please visit www.neovacs.fr