Immuno-oncology focusing on women’s cancers
Although cancer therapies have been developed that stimulate the immune system, these approaches have often proven ineffective because the cancers remain invisible to the immune system. Cancers cannot induce an immune response because they no longer express sufficient levels of key proteins on their cell surface. Antigen presentation is impaired thus presenting a weakened signal to which the cellular immune system can respond. The company’ peptide antigens can stimulate both T-killer cells and T-helper cells. When combined with its Polystart expression vector provides a competitive edge in the in vivo T-cell vaccine sector.
Clinical Need/ Opportunity
The focus is on woman’s cancers where there is poor second line treatment. The average effectiveness response rate from the Checkpoint Inhibitors is about 20-25% as high as 40% in metastatic melanoma. To increase success, you need adjuvant therapies. Vaccine is a natural. In triple negative breast and ovarian cancer, the only therapy after surgery and radiation is chemotherapy. Once patients relapse, they need more chemotherapy and typically multiple relapses and the prognosis worsens. There is a natural intervention point when a vaccine can reduce recurrence of cancer and improve progression free survival and in some cases to treat cancers that can’t otherwise be treated. Herceptin which is effectively in 20% of the patients — about 220,000 new each year — is a $6 billion business.
4 issued patents
The body’s immune system is the future of cancer therapy. The company is innovative approach. It has multiple phase 2 trials in the clinic with well tolerated drugs. Received Fast Track status for ovarian cancer. Non- diluted funding is paying for clinical trials including $18 million U.S. Department of Defense. They have collaborations with Mayo Clinic and with Memorial Sloan Kettering and AstraZeneca. A $40 million market cap for an immuno-oncology company space with multiple Phase 2s trials in the clinic we regard as low.
March 2017 $2.7M grant from US Dept. of Defense for Phase 2 trial
Q3 ‘17 Phase I study. Long term survival and immunogencity
Q4 ‘17 Phase 2 with AstraZenica checkpoint Inhibitor ovarian cancer
Q4 ‘17 Phase 2 interim results. Triple-neg breast cancer
2H ‘17 Phase 2 Mayo Clinic, triple-neg and HER2/neu+ breast cancer
History and Origins
2006 spinout from a laboratory at the University of British Columbia, that was working on a transporter called TAP, a transporter associated with antigen processing. Licensed technologies from the Mayo Clinic moved the company to Seattle. raised enough money to get two Phase 1’s completed and organized collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering