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Winning the battle against leukaemia: Positive early results in clinical trial for DNA vaccine
Date:12/7/2012

University of Southampton, is delivered using Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc proprietary electroporation technology. The trial is funded by research charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research (LLR) and the National Institute for Health Research Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme.

Leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood that accounts for at least 300,000 new cases and 222,000 deaths worldwide each year - a very high death rate. Wilms' Tumor gene 1 (WT1) is highly associated with these types of cancer. Preclinical data from mice showed strong induction of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and the ability to kill human tumor cells expressing WT1. This is the first study to combine DNA vaccination with electroporation delivery of WT1 antigens with the goal of stimulating high and durable levels of immune responses, in particular T cells, which are considered critical for improving clinical outcomes for this disease.

In this ongoing phase II trial, all participants initially receive six doses of two DNA vaccines (called p.DOM-WT1-37 and p.DOM-WT1-126) delivered at four week intervals. Vaccine responders may continue with booster vaccinations every three months out to 24 months. An additional 60 to 75 AML/CML patients are being enrolled across the two arms as non-vaccinated controls for comparison. The primary endpoints are molecular response to a disease marker called BCR-ABL in CML patients and time to disease progression in AML patients. The study is also monitoring WT1 transcript levels, immune responses to the WT1 antigen, time to progression and overall survival, and two-year survival in the AML group. The trial is taking place at hospitals in Southampton, London and Exeter.

Inovio's CEO, Dr. J. Joseph Kim, adds: "We are encouraged by preliminary phase II data showing a WT1 DNA vaccine's potential, administered with our novel delivery technology, to generate T cells and robust antibodies to treat leukemia. These results follow o
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Contact: Becky Attwood
r.attwood@soton.ac.uk
44-023-805-95457
University of Southampton
Source:Eurekalert

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