HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 24, 2012) - Immunovaccine Inc. ("Immunovaccine" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:IMV), a clinical stage vaccine company, today announced positive results from a preliminary study of an anti-cocaine vaccine in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College. The vaccine, which added Immunovaccine's DepoVax™ adjuvanting technology to Weill Cornell's novel anti-cocaine vaccine (dAd5GNE), was being evaluated in rodents for its ability to produce antibodies capable of blocking cocaine from being delivered to the brain in an effort to prevent its physiological effect.
The study showed that the DepoVax-enhanced vaccine produced high levels of target antibodies that were able to sequester cocaine in the blood of immunized mice and block its delivery to the brain. Immunovaccine hopes to build on this interesting proof of concept work and is currently evaluating opportunities to further develop the program. Further potential studies would aim to confirm these results and explore the duration of immunity produced by the vaccine. There are research efforts to develop an anti-cocaine vaccine that is able to effectively induce and maintain a sufficient immune response without requiring frequent immunizations.
"Immunovaccine's delivery system holds the vaccine at the site of injection allowing the immune system to process the vaccine differently than other vaccines," said Dr. Marc Mansour, the company's chief science officer. "This results in strong immunity against the target, in this case cocaine. The next time cocaine appears in the blood the subject's immune system seizes the molecules and neutralizes their effect."
In March 2012, Immunovaccine and Weill Cornell announced a research agreement to explore the company's technology with a vaccine being developed for treating cocaine addiction. The project builds on earlier cocaine vaccine work, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), at Weill Cornell. The goal of this particular study was to evaluate the ability DepoVax™ to trigger a strong immune response with Weill Cornell's dAd5GNE vaccine. There currently are no anti-cocaine vaccines approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Cocaine abuse is estimated to affect approximately 4.8 million Americans annually with an additional one million Americans using crack cocaine at least once each year. A safe and effective anti-cocaine vaccine has the potential to significantly address the healthcare and societal problem associated with cocaine abuse and addiction.
DepoVax™is a patented formulation that provides controlled and prolonged exposure of antigens plus adjuvant to the immune system, resulting in a strong, specific and sustained immune response with the capability for single-dose effectiveness. The DepoVax platform possesses impressive flexibility, allowing it to work with a broad range of target antigens in various therapeutic applications. The technology is also commercially scalable, with potential for years of stability and ease of use in the clinic.
Immunovaccine Inc. applies its novel adjuvanting platform to the development of vaccines for cancer therapy, infectious diseases and animal health. The Company's DepoVax™ platform is a patented formulation that provides controlled and prolonged exposure of antigens plus adjuvant to the immune system. Immunovaccine has advanced two DepoVax-based cancer vaccines into Phase I human clinical trials. The Company is also advancing a broad infectious disease pipeline including vaccines in such indications as malaria, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and anthrax. In addition to the Company's human health vaccine strategy, it continues to capture value from animal health vaccine applications. Immunovaccine has key partnerships in the animal health sector including an agreement with Pfizer Animal Health. Connect at www.imvaccine.com.
This press release contains forward-looking information under applicable securities law. All information that addresses activities or developments that we expect to occur in the future is forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. However, they should not be regarded as a representation that any of the plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to risks affecting the company, including access to capital, the successful completion of clinical trials and receipt of all regulatory approvals. Immunovaccine Inc. assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements in this press release.