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MabVax Therapeutics Receives $1,750,000 Small Business Innovation Research Contract Award From The National Cancer Institute To Support Development of Novel Pancreatic Cancer Diagnostic Imaging Agent
Date:9/24/2013

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MabVax Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative vaccine and antibody based therapies to treat cancer, announces that it has received Contract No. HHSN261201300060C from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under the Small Business Innovation Research Technology Program (SBIR).  The award is in the amount of $1,750,000 over the next three years subject to satisfactory progress and continued availability of funds in the SBIR program.  The grant will support development of a novel positron emission tomography (PET) imaging product for the diagnosis, staging, and treatment assessment of pancreatic cancer.  The product, an antibody fragment linked to a radioactive tracer, is based on the company's discovery of a human antibody designated 5B1 that binds to a cancer antigen expressed on pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC or pancreatic cancer) is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide primarily due in part to late stage diagnosis stemming from the lack of an early diagnostic screening tool.  It is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States with 36,800 deaths reported in 2010.  Five-year relative survival rates have changed very little in the last 40 years.

The carbohydrate antigen sialyl-Lewisa (sLea) is expressed on pancreatic colon and stomach cancers cells at high levels where it is used as a tumor marker and presents an attractive molecular target.  sLea  facilitates tumor adhesion and extravasation that are key events for tumor metastasis, and thus presents a marker for the very cells that cause cancer recurrence.  Increased sLea expression on tumors is correlated with poor clinical outcome.  MabVax Therap
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SOURCE MabVax Therapeutics, Inc.
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