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AlphaVax Announces Promising Results in Melanoma Studies
Date:5/13/2009

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- AlphaVax announced today the presentation of promising results from a collaboration with researchers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Francesca Avogadri, Ph.D., a Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine at MSKCC presented data at the American Association of Immunologists Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

Results from pre-clinical studies conducted at MSKCC demonstrate the ability of AlphaVax's virus-like replicon vector particles (VRP) encoding melanoma-specific tumor antigens to reduce melanoma tumor burden in a state-of-the-art murine melanoma model.

Jedd D. Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., Lab Head and faculty member at MSKCC, is a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of melanoma and in whose laboratory the work was conducted. Dr. Wolchok's research is focused on harnessing the immune system to prevent melanoma from recurring after surgery, as well as more effective treatments for the disease when it does recur. In comparing these results to others that his lab has investigated, Dr. Wolchok commented that "this is the most potent single intervention we have seen in this model."

"We are excited by the results obtained in the studies conducted by Dr. Wolchok's group at MSKCC. Immunotherapeutic intervention with a novel vaccine vector such as ours may prove beneficial as a treatment strategy for patients with melanoma, and we hope to translate these findings into clinical testing in the near future," said Robert Olmsted, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at AlphaVax, Inc.

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 62,500 people were diagnosed with melanoma of the skin in 2008, and over 8,400 deaths were due to the disease. While melanoma accounts for a small percent of all skin cancers, it is far more serious than other skin cancers if not detected and treated early. Melanoma is a form of cancer
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SOURCE AlphaVax, Inc.
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