Imugene Ltd Starts First Patient Dosing


KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Asian patients with gastric cancer find it difficult to get access to expensive antibodies like Perjeta and Herceptin
  • Imugene has dosing studies for the HER-Vaxx in eight clinical sites in Asian countries like Thailand, Taiwan, and HongKong
  • Imugene’s Phase 1b dosing trial is using three different HER-Vaxx vaccine doses for around 18 patients divided into three groups with up to six patients each group

Biotechnology company Imugene Ltd. has successfully started the first patient dosing of HER-Vaxx, a vaccine under clinical study as a possible treatment for gastric cancer.

“The successful start of this study represents an important development milestone for our business and medical professionals seeking new ways to treat patients with gastric cancer,” Imugene Chief Executive Officer Leslie Chong said.

The company considers HER-Vaxx as its lead product as it is eyed for the treatment of gastric cancer. HER-Vaxx works by producing antibodies that respond to HER2, a growth signal receptor protein found on the surface of the gastric cancer cells.

Imugene has been actively recruiting patients for eight clinical sites in Asia for HER-Vaxx dosing including HongKong, Taiwan, and Thailand. The trials are being conducted to validate the effectivity of HER-Vaxx as a B-cell peptide cancer vaccine.

“Our team is excited to be part of this important study and the search for effective new treatments for gastric cancer as there are limited options for patients,” said Professor Dr. Dr.h.c. Christoph Zielinski, Clinical Division of Oncology and Department of Medicine at the Medical University Vienna.

Imugene is concentrating its study in Asian countries due to the substantial number of gastric cancer patients who have difficulty obtaining the expensive antibodies Perjeta and Herceptin. The company is now in Phase 1b of trials and using three different doses of HER-Vaxx vaccine for 18 patients divided into three groups with six patients per group.

The company believes that HER-Vaxx will strengthen the immune system of patients with cancer. Researchers are now identifying the optimal HER-Vaxx dose that will stimulate the immune system of patients to fight cancer cells.

With the success of dosing trials for HER-Vaxx, Imugene is eyeing the $US6.9 billion annual market of Herceptin, one of the most in-demand cancer drugs. Phase 1 of the study focused on breast cancer while Phase 2 will focus on gastric cancer.

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