MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - March 14, 2013) -
Research published in the current issue of Journal of Immunology demonstrates that a vaccine based upon Heat Biologics' ImPACT technology provides significant protection against the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), a non-human virus closely related to the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Results of the proof-of-concept study showed a highly significant 73 percent reduction in the risk of viral infection by SIV among macaques treated with the vaccine. These results are among the best prophylactic protection ever seen against SIV and offer promise for a vaccine that protects humans against HIV.
The study, Cutting Edge: Novel Vaccination Modality Provides Significant Protection against Mucosal Infection by Highly Pathogenic Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, appears in the March 15, 2013 issue of Journal of Immunology. The findings suggest that an ImPACT-based vaccine may protect against HIV.
Funded primarily by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the study was conducted at the Advanced Bioscience Laboratories in Rockville, MD, in laboratories used by the University of Miami, and the federally funded Center for AIDS research (CFAR). It was led by the vaccine's developer, Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
"Vaccine-induced protection against infection by HIV or SIV has been limited. And while HIV can be controlled with an intensive drug regimen, the required medication is life-long and may have unpleasant side effects," said Dr. Podack. "To our knowledge, with this study we achieved a degree of protection against SIV that is among the best ever seen and invites further development to achieve full protection. The findings are significant, suggesting that an ImPACT-based vaccine will be able to provide complete protection against infection with HIV."
Heat Biologics, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on developing therapeutic vaccines to combat a wide range of diseases including cancers and infectious diseases, holds exclusive license to develop and commercialize the vaccine technology. These latest findings add to an already extensive body of research suggesting the expanding potential of ImPACT vaccines for treatment of a wide range of cancers, and treatment and prevention of difficult infectious diseases.
"This research further validates the significant potential that the ImPACT therapeutic vaccine platform holds," said Jeffrey Wolf, president and CEO, Heat Biologics. "It is an exciting addition to Dr. Podack's groundbreaking work with the ImPACT Therapy which has already generated encouraging results in the treatment of other life-threatening diseases."
About Heat Biologics
Heat Biologics (www.heatbio.com) is a clinical-stage company focused on developing novel off-the-shelf ImPACT therapeutic vaccines to combat a wide range of cancers and infectious diseases. ImPACT Therapy exploits the natural ability of antigens to activate the immune system by utilizing live, off-the-shelf, genetically modified cells injected into a patient to elicit a powerful immune response against the disease target. Heat's ImPACT Therapy is based upon heat shock protein gp-96, a chaperone protein found in all human cells and normally tethered to our cells with a leash called the KDEL sequence. ImPACT Therapy removes this KDEL leash, thus transforming allogeneic living cells into powerful machines that continually pump out gp96 and their chaperoned antigens to activate the immune system against the full spectrum of antigens expressed by a patient's disease. Heat is currently in Phase II trials against non-small cell lung cancer and plans to initiate additional clinical trials against bladder cancer later this year.
About UHealth - University of Miami Health System
Powered by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's ground-breaking research, clinical trials, and medical education, UHealth provides life-saving care. The comprehensive network includes Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Center for Aids Research (CFAR), University of Miami Hospital and more than 30 outpatient facilities in five counties.