Imugene Reports Impressive B-cell vaccines Data at ESMO Congress 2019

Australian-headquartered clinical stage immuno-oncology firm, Imugene Limited (ASX: IMU) is engaged towards the development of several new and novel immunotherapies that work to activate the cancer patients’ immune system to treat and remove tumours. The company possesses a robust product pipeline that covers an oncolytic virotherapy (CF33) and a number of immunotherapy B-cell vaccine candidates, directed at the treatment of multiple cancers in combination with developing immunotherapies and standard of care drugs.

Imugene has recently reported about the presentations that were delivered by medical investigators at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) held in Barcelona, Spain from 27th September to 1st October 2019. The company notified about the three presentations that were presented in posters at the event,

  • Dr Bekaii-Saab’s poster presentation
  • Dr Joshua Tobias’ poster presentation, and
  • Dr. Ursula Wiedermann poster presentation

Dr Bekaii-Saab and Dr Joshua Tobias’ presentation showed that combining Imugene’s HER2 vaccines with PD1 vaccines reduced cancer growth in a number of standard preclinical models.

Prof. Dr. Ursula Wiedermann’s presentation highlighted on the comprehensive Phase 1b HER-Vaxx Cancer Vaccine Results.

Further details are as follows:

 

This presentation was delivered by Dr Tanios Bekaii-Saab from the Mayo Clinic Phoenix USA at ESMO Congress. The presentation specified the efficacy of Imugene’s PD1-Vaxx and B-Vaxx combination in lowering tumour growth in HER2+ colon cancer model relative to either the positive gold control standard anti-mouse PD-1 monoclonal antibody (Ab) or the PD1-Vaxx vaccine alone.

The PD-1 vaccine demonstrated an antitumour effect in mouse colon cancer, showing no evidence of toxicity or autoimmunity in mice, rabbits and canine. A combined immunotherapy of HER2 with PD-1 vaccine is likely to offer a promising new approach to control cancer progression/development and might provide improved outcomes while sparing patients the toxicity of chemotherapy.

Imugene is planning to assess PD1-Vaxx and its possible effectiveness in multiple human cancers. The company will begin a Phase 1 trial of PD1-Vaxx as a monotherapy in 2020. Besides focusing on safety and efficacy, the company will evaluate the vaccine in combination with its immunotherapy pipeline and other immunotherapies on the market.

Dr Joshua Tobias from the Medical University Vienna, Austria, delivered this presentation, that demonstrated active immunization with mouse PD1-derived mimotope vaccine combined with HER-Vaxx increases the anti-tumour effect of the combination vaccine relative to each vaccine alone in a model of HER2-positive breast cancer.

Active immunization with the mimotope was found to

  • Induce a reduction of tumour progression,
  • Increase cancer cell death and
  • Antiproliferative effect of the HER2-positive cancer cells in breast cancer tumours.

IMU’s most-advanced B-cell peptide cancer vaccine, HER-Vaxx has been created to treat tumours that have an overexpression of HER-2. A number of B cell epitopes were obtained from the extracellular domain of HER-2/neu to construct the immunotherapy.

This presentation was delivered by the lead-inventor of the HER-Vaxx vaccine, Prof. Dr Ursula Wiedermann from the Medical University Vienna, Austria at ESMO Congress. Dr Wiedermann shared comprehensive results of HER-Vaxx Phase Ib study targeted at patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer.

New clinical data was presented, that showed that the three patients who received the optimal dose of 50 micrograms in cohort 3, evaluated at Day 98, showed 100 per cent objective response (complete response + partial response) upon vaccination. The patients demonstrated a moderate or high increase of HER2-specific antibody levels upon vaccination.

Out of eleven evaluable patients, the tumour reduction in five was linked to high HER2-specific Ab levels, which exhibited a capacity to prevent HER2-phosphorylation. HER2-phosphorylation inhibition is a significant mechanism of effective HER2-targeting drugs which prevent cancer cell growth.

Imugene’s HER-Vaxx has now been shown to stimulate a potent polyclonal antibody response to HER-2/neu in Phase I studies, along with pre-clinical studies. The company has already initiated an open label Phase II study of HER-Vaxx in 68 patients suffering from metastatic gastric cancer overexpressing the HER-2 protein. The company dosed its first patient in March this year and aims to complete the Phase II study in 2020.

 Stock Performance: As at 3:24 PM AEST on 9th October 2019, IMU was trading at $0.020. The stock has provided a return of 13.89 per cent on a YTD basis.


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