Regenerative medicine company, Regeneus (ASX: RGS) announced today that it has partnered with US specialist veterinary vaccine manufacturer, Hennessy Research, for the production of Regeneus’ new autologous canine cancer immunotherapy, Kvax. This follows the announcement in November 2013 that Regeneus received the green light from the US Center for Veterinary Biologics to commercialise the canine cancer immunotherapy in the United States.
Kansas City based Hennessy Research specialises in the manufacture of vaccines for animals and will produce Kvax for the upcoming marketing trials in the United States.
“Hennessy Research has a very strong reputation in the animal vaccine field and an impeccable track record with the US veterinary regulators. The partnership with Hennessy Research allows us entry into the world’s biggest veterinary market, the US market,” says Duncan Thomson – Head of the Veterinary Business Unit for Regeneus.
Kvax immunotherapy uses the removal of a tumour or biopsy from the patient as source material to produce a personalised vaccine. Pieces of tumour will be shipped from US veterinary clinics to Hennessy for manufacture of vaccines. The vaccines will be shipped back to the veterinary clinics for injection into the patients. 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. On 6 March 2014, a paper describing safety and early efficacy data for Kvax cancer immunotherapy was published in Cancer Immunology Research, the peer-reviewed journal published by the American Association for Cancer Research.
Hennessy founder and CEO Kristine Hennessy says, “This is a new type of cancer treatment that has a significant commercial opportunity. Our company is excited about being involved in the roll-out of the technology in the US veterinary market”.
The next step for Regeneus following the establishment of a manufacturing site in the United States, is to begin a marketing trial in dogs with key opinion leaders in the United States.
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.