SAN DIEGO, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MabVax Therapeutics Inc., a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of vaccine and antibody based therapies to address the unmet medical need of preventing recurrent cancer, announces that it has received a Small Business Innovation Research Grant (SBIR) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The initial grant award of $150,000 will support the manufacture and testing of the company's neuroblastoma vaccine which the company is preparing for a Phase 2 clinical trial planned for 2013.
"There is a significant medical need to develop new therapies aimed at preventing recurrent disease in this childhood cancer," noted David Hansen, CEO of MabVax. "While the initial grant is modest and covers only a portion of the manufacturing costs, it is a very important step to potential additional funding of up to $1 million under the second phase of the grant which the company would use to offset clinical trial costs," he added. Neuroblastoma is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor in children. Patients with high risk features, defined by clinical and biologic parameters at diagnosis have an expected survival of only 45% despite intensive therapy. Neuroblastoma is classified as an orphan disease.
A Phase 1 clinical trial with the neuroblastoma vaccine has recently been completed with promising results in a limited number of patients. The current Phase 1 study has been extended until the Phase 2 trial can be initiated. MabVax has initiated discussions with several of the leading clinicians treating neuroblastoma to support the company in the development of its clinical protocol and clinical operations planning. The vaccine is designed to instruct the patient's immune system to make antibodies against three antigens present on the surface of neuroblastoma cells. The antibodies will then seek out and eliminate residual circulating cancer cells and micrometastases with the aim of preventing recurrent disease. The vaccine was developed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) where preclinical and early clinical development work was completed. MabVax has an exclusive license to the neuroblastoma vaccine, along with additional vaccines targeting other cancers.
About MabVax Therapeutics, Inc.
MabVax Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of vaccine and antibody based therapies to address the unmet medical need of preventing recurrent cancer. The company believes that passively administered or vaccine induced antibodies against selected tumor cell surface antigens are ideally suited for eradication of free tumor cells and micrometastases that remain after initial treatment and cause cancer recurrence. MabVax is currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial with a vaccine to prevent recurrent sarcoma and is developing a fully human antibody targeting metastatic pancreatic and colon cancer. The company is based in San Diego. MabVax has closed two Series A rounds of venture financing in February 2008 and August of 2009 and the first tranche of a Series B round was closed in November of this year.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" regarding matters that are not historical facts, including statements associated with MabVax's expectations regarding the timing and funding of additional clinical trials. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Words such as "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "will," "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon MabVax's current expectations and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties.
SOURCE MabVax Therapeutics, Inc.