ImmunoVaccine Technologies (IVT) is a private biotechnology company developing therapeutic cancer and infectious disease vaccines.
VacciMax technology is based on a novel approach to the use of liposomes. While liposomes typically contribute only marginally to the production of an immune response, IVT has discovered that liposomes stabilized by VacciMax technology significantly enhance antibody production.
The company believes VacciMax will have the greatest impact in therapeutic cancer applications by stimulating earlier, more powerful, and longer lasting immune responses.
An End to Three Dose Vaccine Regimens?
In a variety of human infectious disease and cancer models, a three dose regime of vaccine can be reduced to one by reformulating the antigens in VacciMax. The single dose capability of VacciMax was demonstrated in therapeutic cervical cancer and melanoma challenge models using weakly immunogenic peptides as antigens. IVT has demonstrated that VacciMax improves both humoral and cell-mediated response.
With this capability, the company’s future pipeline could have a distinct competitive advantage, potentially positioning IVT as a key developer of premium vaccine products.
Clinical Trials Underway
In January, the company initiated Phase 1 human clinical trials for IMT-1012.
IMT-1012 is an immunotherapeutic vaccine combining 12 different antigens targeting separate tumor pathways in advanced-stage ovarian and breast cancer patients. IVT anticipates leveraging the current clinical trial in order to accelerate bringing the VacciMax platform into the clinic.
Animal Health Applications to Fund Further Development
To date, IVT’s vaccine technology has been used in animal heath applications; animal health will remain a source of short term licensing revenues as the company builds its human health business.
IVT has completed three agreements with Pfizer Animal Health. Studies in large animals, including non-human primates, showed that IVT’s vaccine platform has an excellent safety profile.
IVT is in the process of expansion into the U.S. through the acquisition of PA-based Immunotope, a clinical stage immunotherapeutics company. With the acquisition, IVT will gain access to Immunotope’s antigen discovery platform.
Immunotope has developed a method to identify tumor “signature” antigens, found on the surface of tumors. By incorporating these antigens into IVT’s vaccines, the company believes a patient’s cytotoxic T lymphocytes will better recognize and destroy cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unaffected.
The acquisition should be complete in June 2008.