Vaccibody Receives Euros 2 Million to Develop Therapeutic Cervical Cancer Vaccine
Richard HayhurstTel : +44(0) 20 3077 5400
Therapeutic vaccine company Vaccibody today announced that it has received a Euros 2 million grant from the Norwegian Research Council's BIA Program to develop a novel therapeutic vaccine against precancerous lesions of the cervix. The new vaccine, VB10.16, will be based on the company’s Vaccibody DNA vaccine platform, which targets antigen-presenting cells. The introduction of screening programmes has had a major impact on the incidence and mortality of invasive cervical cancer, and for example 11,000 new cases are detected in the US annually. However it is estimated that large numbers of older, disadvantaged and immigrant women remain outside such programmes.
“We therefore believe that there is a clear role for an easy-to-administer therapeutic vaccine and that our platform is the “missing link” in DNA vaccines,” says CEO Ole Henrik Brekke. “Firstly by targeting antigen-presenting cells we get a faster and longer lasting immune response at a lower dose that traditional vaccines. Secondly, unlike Dendreon, there is no need to extract patient cells, rather we just use a simple DNA or protein subunit vaccine, which attracts, ligates and activates the antigen-presenting cells by itself. Combined with the Euros 875,000 raised from the Sarsia Fund, Radium Hospital Foundation and private investors, this new grant will enable us to take VB10.16 through to clinical trials in early 2014. This will be a single ‘window of opportunity’ study in around 20 HPV-positive women with precancerous lesions at CIN 2 or 3 stage, who are going to have surgery.”
The company has also assessed its vaccine platform as a therapeutic in B-cell lymphoma, melanoma and other cancer models. While Vaccibody's initial focus is in therapeutic cancer vaccines, the company is also working with the National Hospital, Norway, and with the EU project ADITEC to assess a preventive influenza vaccine in a protein format. According to Brekke, positive results of this influenza research validate the Vaccibody platform as a versatile vaccine technology for prevention as well as treatment.