Wednesday, 29 February 2012

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics licenses mesothelin cancer antigen from Johns Hopkins

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (OTCBB:IMUC) Wednesday entered into an agreement with Johns Hopkins University which sees the college grant an exclusive, worldwide license to intellectual property surrounding the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin.
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Antigens are substances that cause the immune system to produce antibodies against it. Mesothelin is highly expressed in pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
The company will employ this intellectual property in the development and commercialization of ICT-140, a multivalent, dendritic cell-based vaccine for the treatment of ovarian cancer, one of multiple tumor types in which mesothelin is over-expressed.
Shares of ImmunoCellular advanced 3.9 percent Wednesday, to $2.12 in early afternoon trading.
ICT-140 is designed to target cancer stem cells as well as daughter cells in ovarian cancer by targeting multiple different antigens including mesothelin, Her-2/neu, IL-13Rα2 and several other undisclosed antigens.
ImmunoCellular president and CEO Manish Singh said: "As we continue the development of a novel, dendritic cell-based vaccine for the treatment of ovarian cancer, this licensing agreement for mesothelin technology will allow us to ensure that we have the critical components for a successful vaccine.
"We look forward to the ongoing support of Dr. Jaffee and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins as we develop the vaccine. We expect to file an Investigative New Drug application for the vaccine in the fourth quarter of this year."
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics is a Los Angeles-based clinical-stage company that is developing immune-based therapies for the treatment of brain and other cancers.
It recently started a phase II trial of its lead product candidate, ICT-107, a dendritic cell-based vaccine targeting multiple tumor associated antigens for glioblastoma.
Earlier this month the company received a "notice of allowance" from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for its patent relating to the targeting of cancer stem cells in the treatment of patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
The patent, called “Cancer Stem Cell Antigen Vaccines and Methods”, covers various methods of using dendritic cells combined with antigens derived from glioblastoma cancer stem cells.

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