Regenerative medicine company Regeneus (ASX: RGS), announced today that a paper describing safety and early efficacy data for the Kvax cancer vaccine has been published inCancer Immunology Research, the peer-reviewed journal published by the American Association for Cancer Research. This journal targets groundbreaking original articles on major advances in cancer immunology.
The Kvax vaccine uses the removal of a tumour or biopsy from the patient as source material to produce a personalised vaccine. The vaccine stimulates the patient’s immune system to see the cancer cells as foreign and helps prevent further growth of the tumour as well as development of new tumours.
The technology was developed by Professor Ross Davey and Dr Chris Weir at the Bill Walsh Translational Cancer Research Laboratory, which is part of the Kolling Institute of Medical Research at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. Regeneus has an exclusive worldwide licence for commercialisation of the technology for veterinary applications and an option over all human applications.
The paper describes experimental work in a pre-clinical rat glioma (brain tumour) model and showed that the vaccine led to remission rates of 30%-60%. Furthermore upon re-challenge these animals did not get the disease, which indicates acquired immunity. The paper also described the treatment of 25 dogs that had a range of advanced cancers. These companion animals presented at veterinary clinics in Sydney with cancer types ranging from melanoma to bone cancer. Dr Chris Weir produced personalised vaccines for the vets to administer to the dogs. The study in dogs demonstrated that there were no safety issues with the vaccine and that the dogs often survived longer than expected indicating that the vaccine can slow tumor growth and recurrence.
“The results from the work in rats is a major breakthrough,” said Dr Chris Weir from Bill Walsh Translational Cancer Research Laboratory. “The 9L glioma model is extremely aggressive, and achieving the level of remission and immunity that we did, using a vaccine derived from tumours is significant and unique”.
“This is very exciting,” says Duncan Thomson – Head of the Veterinary Business Unit for Regeneus. “The work in dogs suggests that the vaccine is effective in a wide range of tumour types, which makes this a very significant commercial opportunity”.
This follows the company’s announcement in November 2013 that Regeneus received the green light to commercialise the canine vaccine in the United States through the Centre for Veterinary Biologics at the US Department of Agriculture.
The next steps for Regeneus involves setting up a vaccine manufacturing site in the US and beginning a marketing trial with key opinion leaders in the US.
According to the US National Canine Cancer Foundation, cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age, which is roughly the same rate as humans.
The paper can be accessed at: