Therapy Areas: Inflammatory Diseases
CEL-SCI Collaborators Presents Data for New Vaccine in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis at the International Conference on Immunity and Immunochemistry Meeting
11 July 2019 - - One of US-based drug and vaccine developer CEL-SCI Corp.'s (NYSE American: CVM) key collaborators from Rush University Medical center, Dr. Adrienn Markovitz, an assistant professor in the department of Orthopedic Surgery, presented new LEAPS data at i-Chem2019, International Conference on Immunity and Immunochemistry in San Francisco, California on Wednesday July 3, 2019, the company said.
The title of her presentation was "Vaccination with DerG LEAPS peptide conjugates incorporating distinct PG (aggrecan) epitopes protects by different immune mechanisms in the PG G1 domain induced mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis."
Markovitz also presented a poster on other aspects of her work on modulation of autoimmune arthritis by the tyrosine phosphatase enzyme SHP-1, and identification of immunogenic citrullinated proteoglycan epitopes that may play a role in this disease in mice and humans.
The LEAPS work was performed in conjunction with researchers at CEL-SCI on CEL-4000 and a newly discovered LEAPS conjugate, DerG-PG275Cit.
Both vaccines were evaluated alone and in combination in the model of proteoglycan [PG] induced arthritis called recombinant PG G1 domain-induced arthritis, an autoimmune mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis.
The conclusion presented by Dr. Markovitz's was that vaccination with DerG LEAPS conjugates of distinct PG epitopes alone or together were effective at modulating the inflammatory response and arresting the progression of arthritis.
As observed previously, the DerGPG70 conjugate modulated disease through up-regulation of Th2, and down-regulation of Th1 and Th17 responses.
The results suggest that the two vaccines act mechanistically on different immune responses. The combination of the two vaccines provided not only broader epitope coverage, but also a greater therapeutic effect than either vaccine alone.
The LEAPS platform technology is currently being utilized to develop a therapeutic antigen-specific treatment for RA under a USD 1.5m grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Upon completion of preclinical and Investigational New Drug enabling studies for the antigen-specific LEAPS vaccine treatment of RA, CEL-SCI intends to file an IND application with the US Food and Drug Administration.
This platform technology has been shown in several animal models to preferentially direct the immune response to a cellular (e.g. T-cell), humoral (antibody) or mixed pathway, and has been shown to involve upregulation of protective Treg cells in some animal models.
It has the potential to be utilised in diseases for which antigenic epitope sequences have already been identified, such as: a number of infectious diseases, some cancers, autoimmune diseases (e.g., RA), allergic asthma and allergy, and select CNS diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's).
CEL-SCI believes that boosting a patient's immune system while it is still intact should provide the greatest possible impact on survival.
Therefore, in the Phase 3 study CEL-SCI treats patients who are newly diagnosed with advanced primary squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with Multikine first, BEFORE they receive surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. This approach is unique.
Most other cancer immunotherapies are administered only after conventional therapies have been tried and/or failed. Multikine (Leukocyte Interleukin, Injection), has received Orphan Drug designation from the FDA for neoadjuvant therapy in patients with squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) of the head and neck.
CEL-SCI's Phase 3 study is the largest Phase 3 study in the world for the treatment of head and neck cancer. Per the study's protocol, newly diagnosed patients with advanced primary squamous cell carcinoma are treated with the Multikine treatment regimen for three weeks prior to the Standard of Care which involves surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.
Multikine is designed to help the immune system "see" the tumor at a time when the immune system is still relatively intact and thereby thought to better able to mount an attack on the tumor.
The aim of treatment with Multikine is to boost the body's immune system prior to SOC. The Phase 3 study is fully enrolled with 928 patients and the last patient was treated in September 2016. To prove an overall survival benefit, the study requires CEL-SCI to wait until 298 events have occurred among the two main comparator groups.
The company's LEAPS technology is currently being developed as a therapeutic vaccine for rheumatoid arthritis and is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. The company has operations in Vienna, Virginia, and in/near Baltimore, Maryland.
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