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
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."
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.