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MERIAL Receives Full License Approval for ONCEPT(TM) Canine Melanoma Vaccine
Date:2/16/2010

treatment option for dogs that have been diagnosed with this often fatal disease."

The vaccine was developed through a partnership between Merial and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. While Memorial Sloan-Kettering was testing a human melanoma vaccine, they received an inquiry from Dr. Philip Bergman – who at the time was with Animal Medical Center, and currently with Brightheart Veterinary Center – seeking novel treatments for canine melanoma. The discussions resulted in clinical trials of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering melanoma vaccine, and subsequent parallel trials by Dr. Bergman and Memorial Sloan-Kettering refined the dosage and protocol to the current therapeutic regimen for dogs. Dr. Bergman completed the initial clinical work on ONCEPT at Animal Medical Center in New York.

"We're very excited about continuing research into this vaccine to explore the potential implications it has for humans. We hope this will result in improved cancer treatment for all," explained Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist who specializes in immunotherapy on the Melanoma and Sarcoma Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and also Associate Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy.

The USDA issued a conditional U.S. Veterinary Biological Product License for ONCEPT in 2007. During the period of conditional licensure, ONCEPT was available to veterinary oncologists as Merial conducted additional research to further support the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

The results of that research led to the full licensure of ONCEPT. Merial obtained licensing rights from Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Dr. Philip Bergman, and, using their access to and experience with DNA vaccine technology licensed from Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq: '/>"/>

SOURCE Merial
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