Anti-Cancer Vaccine Presented Positive Phase 1 Results

HER-Vaxx is a B-cell peptide cancer vaccine candidate designed to treat tumors that over-express the HER-2/neu receptor
woman raising hands towards the sky in celebration
(Precision Vaccinations)

An Australian immuno-oncology company announced comprehensive clinical data results from the Phase Ib clinical study of its HER-Vaxx anti-cancer vaccine, in gastric cancer patients overexpressing the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) target protein.

Imugene Limited's HER-Vaxx is a B-cell peptide cancer vaccine designed to treat tumors that over-express the HER-2/neu receptor, such as gastric, breast, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers. 

This small study’s data in 68 patients showed a 100 percent objective response rate in 3 patients who received the optimal dose of 50 micrograms.

And, in 5 of 11 patients evaluable for tumor responses, tumor reduction was associated with high HER2-specific antibody levels which showed a capacity to inhibit HER2-phosphorylation. 

This is important since the inhibition of HER2- phosphorylation is a key mechanism of successful HER2-targeting drugs that inhibit cancer cell growth.

The HER2 gene makes HER2 proteins, which are receptors on breast cells, says

Normally, HER2 receptors help control how a healthy breast cell grows, divides, and repairs itself. 

But in about 25 percent of breast cancers, the HER2 gene doesn't work correctly and makes too many copies of itself, which is known as HER2 gene amplification. 

All of these extra HER2 genes tell breast cells to make too many HER2 receptors. This makes breast cells grow and divide in an uncontrolled way.

Imugene’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Chong said in an October 1, 2019, press release, “Together with our dedicated investigators and research teams we are building an impressive library of evidence to support the clinical potential our unique B-cell cancer vaccine pipeline and clinical development strategy.”

There are 4 breast cancer tests available:

  • IHC test (ImmunoHistoChemistry),
  • FISH test (Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization),
  • SPoT-Light HER2 CISH test (Subtraction Probe Technology Chromogenic In Situ Hybridization),
  • Inform HER2 Dual ISH test (Inform Dual In Situ Hybridization).

Imugene’s poster, abstract number 1212P, is entitled ‘Comprehensive results of a Phase Ib study with a HER2/neu B-cell peptide vaccine administered with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine chemotherapy show safety, immunogenicity and clinical response in patients with HER2/neu overexpressing advanced gastric cancer’. The poster presentation is available on the Imugene website.

Imugene aims to complete this phase 1 study in 2020.

Imugene is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing a range of new and novel immunotherapies that seek to activate the immune system of cancer patients to treat and eradicate tumors.

Cancer Vaccine information published by Precision Vaccinations