MIRROR EFFECT TECHNOLOGY HAS POTENTIAL TO BROADEN THE APPLICATION OF CHECKPOINT DRUGS

For over a century, scientists have envisioned developing a vaccine that would unleash the power of the immune system to cure cancer. However, these efforts have been a great disappointment.

Scientists first approached the problem with great optimism with the idea of designing vaccines against cancer much in the same way vaccines were designed to wipe out serious diseases like Polio and measles.

These successful vaccines that protect against infectious diseases contain a piece of the infectious virus called an antigen and an adjuvant designed to boost the immune response to the antigen. When the antigen and adjuvant were injected in a patient, the immune system rose up to reject the antigen. After multiple injections, the immune system developed memory of the destructive immune response. With memory, if the patient ever encountered the real infectious virus, the pre-programmed immune system was able destroy the virus before it could cause disease.

However, this method resulted in many failures when applied to cancer. The cancer cells were found to be able to effectively evade immune attack. One manner in which cancer cells were found to be able to avoid immune destruction was through the expression of surface proteins known as checkpoint molecules. When an immune cell encounters a checkpoint molecule, it's killing mechanisms are turned off. In this manner, the cancer can grow unimpeded by the immune system.

In 2013, Science magazine named immunotherapy the top discovery of the year based on the success of a new class of drugs designed to block the interaction of tumors with checkpoint molecules. This includes drugs such as Yervoy, Opdivo and Keytruda.

While these drugs have generated much excitement and have reawaken interest in immunotherapy, it is now realized that these drugs work in only a limited number of tumor types and only in a small number of patients with responsive types of tumors.

 One reason for the limited efficacy is that for checkpoint blockade drugs to work, there must be a pre-existing immune response capable of destroying the tumor but blocked by a checkpoint molecule. Turns out that only a limited number of patients have a pre-existing  memory immune response against their tumors.

This brings us back to the cancer vaccine concept. Even with checkpoint blocking drugs, in order to treat the majority of cancer patients there still is a need to be able to vaccinate a patient to develop a destructive immune response. Currently there is no method available to meet this need.

With the failure of trying to apply the same vaccination techniques as works to prevent many infectious diseases, new approaches are needed.

There is only one proven example of a immune response being capable of destroying cancer cells. That is the immune response that occurs when you transplant immune cells from a tissue matched related donor into a cancer patient. This technique known as allogeneic stem cell transplant results in the most powerful anti-cancer immune response ever discovered, capable of completely eliminating chemotherapy-resistant metastatic disease and also programming the immune system like a vaccine to remember the method of attack in order to prevent tumor from ever coming back.

However, the clinical application of this powerful immune effect is severely limited due to the high toxicity of the transplant technique. The transplanted immune system not only destroys and remembers how to kill cancer cells, but also destroys and remembers how to kill normal cells. This side effect results in the death of many patients that agree to this technique.

Scientists at Immunovative are the first and only to develop a way to harness the power of the immune effect of allogeneic stem cell transplant while eliminating the risk of toxicity to normal cells. This technology called the "Mirror Effect" is a breakthrough for cancer vaccines.

Immunovative has two products in clinical development called CryoVax and AlloVax based on Mirror Effect technology. In early trials, these products have shown evidence of eliciting a tumor destructive memory immune response in metastatic solid tumor patients without toxicity.

 

By providing a way to elicit a destructive immune response in patients that do not have pre-existing anti-cancer immunity, these products have potential to broaden the application of checkpoint drugs.

SPECIALITY INFORMATION

patients


Treatment strategy designed to use the power of the human immune system to kill tumors and prevent their recurrence.
No requirement for a matched donor or chemotherapy/radiation conditioning prior to treatment.
Innovative technology – proven and non-toxic.
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Healthcare professionals


Therapeutic anti-tumor vaccine developed from core break-through technology called the "Mirror Effect™“ which opens a pathway to treating patients with metastatic cancer that have failed all available therapy options.
Elicits a GVT-like mechanism without the GVHD toxicity.
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Investors


Privately-held Israeli biopharmaceutical company spin out from Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center with headquarters in Jerusalem.

Over 200 individual private shareholders and grant support from the Israel Office of the Chief Scientist.
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