HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - October 18, 2010) - Immunovaccine Inc.(TSX VENTURE: IMV), a vaccine developer, today announced that it has entered into a collaborative research program with the National Research Council Canada (NRC) to evaluate the efficacy of a carbohydrate-based vaccine formulated in DepoVax™, the Company's proprietary vaccine delivery and enhancement platform. The antigen selected for this novel vaccine formulation is a modified carbohydrate with the potential to be developed into a meningococcal vaccine, as well as a therapeutic cancer vaccine.
The collaboration's objective is to design a carbohydrate-based vaccine, using the DepoVax formulation, that can produce significant antibody levels specific to the carbohydrate target and capable of neutralizing meningococci. The research will also evaluate the ability of the carbohydrate-based vaccine candidate to kill cancer cells.
"This modified carbohydrate is unique because of its potential utility as an antigen for both a bacterial vaccine and a therapeutic cancer vaccine," commented Marc Mansour, Ph.D., Immunovaccine's Vice President of R&D. "This is the first time we are incorporating a carbohydrate antigen into our DepoVax platform to further demonstrate its flexibility and versatility."
Carbohydrate antigens are generally poorly immunogenic when used in vaccines. In this study, the NRC and Immunovaccine will collaboratively address this challenge. The NRC has developed a conjugation technology that makes the carbohydrate more immunogenic for the immune system to generate an antibody response. The immunogenicity of the modified carbohydrate is expected to be enhanced by the DepoVax technology.
Immunovaccine's DepoVax™ vaccine delivery and enhancement technology will formulate the carbohydrate antigen into liposomes and then in oil. This DepoVax delivery technology is a breakthrough in vaccine development because it raises unusually strong and long-lasting humoral or cellular immune responses. The ability for DepoVax to potentiate vaccines and deliver strong results has been demonstrated in several animal models for infectious disease and cancer.
Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord and can be deadly. Meningococcal disease is the most common form of bacterial meningitis in children and young adults. Every year in Canada, 400 people catch meningitis and 100 die within 48 hours. Tragically, two-thirds of the people who catch it are under the age of five, with as many as 19 percent of cases resulting in permanent disabilities like brain damage, hearing loss or amputated limbs.
According to the American Cancer Society, a total of 1,529,560 new cancer cases and 569,490 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the US this year. The NIH estimates the direct medical costs associated with cancer care to be in excess of US$93 billion. This figure does not include the cost of lost productivity due to disability or premature death.
Immunovaccine Inc. (TSX VENTURE: IMV) is a clinical stage vaccine development company focused on the commercialization of its patented DepoVax™ vaccine delivery technology and product candidates. The company continues to strengthen its vaccine pipeline through licensing and strategic partnerships to develop therapeutic cancer and infectious disease vaccines. www.imvaccine.com
This press release contains forward-looking information pursuant to applicable securities law. All information that addresses activities or developments that we expect to occur in the future in forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. However, they should not be regarded as a representation that any of the plans or objectives will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this document due to risks and uncertainties affecting the Company, including access to capital, the successful completion of clinical trials and receipt of all regulatory approvals. Immunovaccine assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements in this press release.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.