Findings Suggest New Way to Stimulate the Immune System to Fight Viral
VIENNA, Va., June 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CEL-SCI Corporation (Amex: CVM) and researchers at Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy jointly announced favorable new developments in the LEAPS(TM) heteroconjugate vaccine technology developed by CEL-SCI at the FOCIS Immunology meeting in Boston, MA on June 8, 2008. Patricia Taylor, M.S., working with Dr. Ken S. Rosenthal, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and Dr. Dan Zimmerman, CEL-SCI's Senior Vice President of Research and Cellular Immunology, demonstrated that immunization with a LEAPS (Ligand Epitope Antigen Presentation System) vaccine altered the immunological hormone (cytokine) balance toward a Th1 environment. It has been shown that a Th1 cellular immune response is needed for protection against many viral diseases. Th1 promotes a combination of antibody and cell mediated protective immune responses compared to the antibody producing Th2 environment induced by most vaccines.
Most notably, within three days of immunization with the "J" type LEAPS vaccines, the cytokine that drives a Th1 response, IL-12, and the primary cytokine that mediates its effects, interferon gamma, were detected in the blood. The LEAPS vaccines that were examined include one that was previously shown to provide antigen specific protection and cellular immunity against herpes simplex virus infection via interferon gamma in mouse models of human disease and another that is directed against a HIV protein.
Dr. Zimmermann said: "These findings give us a new way to stimulate the immune system to fight viral diseases. They also may lead to new treatments against autoimmune diseases by redirecting established immune responses, stopping their attack upon the body."
The LEAPS vaccine consists of a portion of an HSV or HIV protein attached to a portion of another very small protein (immune cell binding ligand (ICBL)) chosen to promote and direct the immune response to the virus. By themselves, neither the ICBL nor the viral peptides initiate protection but when conjugated together, the LEAPS vaccines promote immune responses that can protect against HSV-1.
Vaccination against HSV and HIV has the potential to prevent initial infection; prevent or lessen the severity of disease; and prevent spread of the virus to sexual partners as well as to neonates and newborns. The LEAPS vaccines is one of several approaches to the development of safe and effective vaccines are being pursued.
About CEL-SCI Corporation:
CEL-SCI Corporation is developing products that empower immune defenses. Its lead product is Multikine(R). In Phase II clinical trials Multikine was shown to be safe and well-tolerated, and to improve the patients' overall survival by 33% at a median of three and a half years following surgery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave clearance for a Phase III clinical trial with Multikine in January 2007 and granted orphan drug status to Multikine in the neoadjuvant therapy of squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) of the head and neck in May 2007.
Multikine, a patented defined mixture of naturally derived cytokines, is the first immunotherapeutic agent in a new class of drugs called "Immune SIMULATORS". Immune SIMULATORS simulate the way our natural immune system acts in defending us against cancer. As opposed to other immunotherapies which are designed to target a single or limited number of specific antigens or molecules, Immune SIMULATORS are multi-targeted; they simultaneously cause a direct and targeted killing of the specific tumor cells and they activate the immune system to produce a stronger anti-tumor attack on multiple fronts.
Multikine is also the first immunotherapeutic agent being developed as a first-line standard of care treatment for cancer. It is administered prior to any other cancer therapy because that is the period when the anti-tumor immune response can still be fully activated. Once the patient has advanced disease, or had surgery or has received radiation and/or chemotherapy, the immune system is severely weakened and is less able to mount an effective anti-tumor immune response. Other immunotherapies are administered after the patient has received chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, which can limit their effectiveness.
The Company has operations in Vienna, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. CEL-SCI's other products, which are currently in pre-clinical stage, have shown protection against a number of diseases in animal tests and are being tested against diseases associated with bio-defense and avian flu.
|SOURCE CEL-SCI Corporation|
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