Lots of good catalysts.
Even though Celldex would not earn any money from the HIV vaccine study, if successful, it would be great PR for Celldex's viral vaccine technology.
DCVax Plus Poly ICLC in Healthy Volunteers
DCVax-001 is a recombinant protein vaccine designed to prevent and potentially treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The vaccine is composed of a fusion protein containing a human monoclonal antibody specific for the dendritic cell receptor, DEC-205 (CD205), and the HIV gag p24 protein. The vaccine is designed to target HIV antigens directly to endocytic pathways in dendritic cells (DCs) that allow for efficient processing and presentation of multiple HIV peptides on both MHC class I and II products, which will induce HIV-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. This vaccine candidate must be combined with appropriate immunostimulants (adjuvants) to induce immunity to the antigen. In the proposed clinical trial we will use poly ICLC (Hiltonol) from Oncovir, Inc as the adjuvant.
Estimated Enrollment: 45
Study Start Date: May 2010
Estimated Study Completion Date: May 2013
Estimated Primary Completion Date: May 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
This is elegant use of Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) technology for a life-threatening disease. I remember back working in PIII lab in early days of AIDS working on T-cells surface receptors for HIV that the gag proteins were surface receptors specific only to retrovirus like HIV. So antibody tracks to the retrovirus (and nothing else) and dedritic receptor attracts immune response of T-Cell to attack. If this works and the data is excellent, then this will be a catalyst to take Celldex to next level. BTW, this drug/vaccine is based on Nobel Prize winning basic science on dendritic cells by one of Celldex's former board members (may he rest in peace).
We are still relatively unknown (outside of small biotech investment community and institutions). It's good you are spreading the joy around. There is still plenty of upside. In fact, most of the upside is still ahead !