Although Dendreon has been grabbing most of the cancer-vaccine buzz these days, there are other companies in this space that are achieving clinical success. One of these companies, ImmunoCellular Therepeutics (IMUC), specializes in cell-based immune therapies to target various cancers. The Los Angeles-based company has two vaccine candidates to treat glioblastoma multiforme, the deadly brain cancer that killed Sen. Ted Kennedy. ICT-121, the company’s stem cell-based vaccine, is an off-the-shelf vaccine that may be applicable to multiple cancers. The vaccine is designed to promote immune response to CD-133, a marker that is overexpressed on cancer stem cells.
ICT-107 is the company’s dendritic cell-based vaccine. Dendritic cells help stimulate immune response, although they need a boost to battle malignant tumors. The cells are taken from the patient, processed in a laboratory to make them more effective, and injected back into the patient. ICT-107 combines six antigens that are highly expressed in several types of cancer. A recent Phase I clinical trial has been promising: In a study of 19 patients with glioblastoma, progression-free survival increased from 6 months to 19 months.
IMUC is also developing a monoclonal antibody platform for multiple types of cancer. The company is partnered with Roche for a monoclonal antibody to diagnose and treat ovarian cancer and multiple myeloma. IMUC is also in pre-clinical development for a monoclonal antibody to treat pancreatic and lung cancer, and antibodies to diagnose and treat various types of cancer.
Dr. Manish Singh, President and CEO of Immunocellular Therapeutics, spoke with William Dawson of LifeTech Capital at this year’s OneMedForum. In this video, Singh discusses IMUC’s cancer-fighting platform technology.