Thursday, July 18, 2019
Anixa Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on harnessing the body's immune system to fight cancer, today announced that it has established a strategic alliance and license agreement with Cleveland Clinic for an innovative breast cancer vaccine technology.
Cleveland Clinic researcher Dr. Vincent Tuohy has been developing a method to vaccinate women against contracting breast cancer, focused specifically on triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), the most lethal form of the disease. Dr. Tuohy has identified a specific protein that is "retired" from service after a woman has given birth, but reappears in many forms of breast cancer, especially TNBC. Studies have shown that vaccinating against this protein, completely prevents breast cancer in mice. Anixa Biosciences will work with Dr. Tuohy and a team at Cleveland Clinic to advance this vaccine to clinical trials in humans to verify the animal studies that demonstrated prevention of breast cancer.
Dr. Tuohy and Cleveland Clinic were awarded a $6.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in November 2017 to provide funding for the completion of pre-clinical studies as well as the completion of two Phase 1 clinical studies to test the vaccine in patients.
Dr. Tuohy said, "We are pleased to be able to work with Anixa to advance this technology into human trials. The field of cancer therapy has focused on treating patients after they have contracted cancer. If we could vaccinate patients and never allow the cancer to develop, the impact would be immense for patients and our healthcare system. Over the last decade we have gained significant understanding about the immune system to contemplate developing cancer vaccines like this."
"Dr. Tuohy has been working on this technology and pioneering the concept of prevention for over a decade, and has demonstrated the ability to eliminate breast cancer completely in animal studies. We are now ready to work with him and the U.S. DOD to evaluate if similar results are seen in humans. Imagine a world where we would immunize women against breast cancer, similar to the way we have immunized humanity against polio, small pox and other infectious diseases," said Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of Anixa.
Dr. Kumar continued, "We are looking forward to taking this technology into human testing in the next several months, and we are pleased that this additional technology expands our portfolio which includes our Cchek™ Liquid Biopsy and our CAR-T technology. We do not anticipate that this addition to our portfolio will increase our burn in a meaningful way."