One of the hottest areas in medical technology today is the rapidly growing field of immunotherapy, the manipulation of the body's own immune system to target and combat cellular based diseases such as cancer. The key to immunotherapy, and the biggest challenge, is to develop a mechanism for interacting with and controlling the body's immune system that is both safe and effective.
Advaxis, a New Jersey based biotechnology company focused on immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases, is utilizing a unique platform technology under exclusive license from the University of Pennsylvania, based upon the work of Yvonne Paterson, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology. The technology utilizes a live attenuated bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), bio-engineered to secrete an antigen/adjuvant fusion (Lm-LLO) protein. Her work has shown that Lm-LLO based immunotherapies stimulate the immune system to induce antigen-specific anti-tumor immune responses involving both innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. In addition, this technology could facilitate the immune response by altering the microenvironment of tumors to make them more susceptible to immune attack.
The company's initial focus has been on immunotherapies targeting HPV-associated diseases, specifically cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 2/3), recurrent or refractory cervical cancer, as well as head and neck cancer. In addition, they have developed immunotherapies for prostate cancer and HER2 expressing cancers, such as breast, gastric, bladder, brain, pancreatic, and ovarian cancer.
Advaxis has more than fifteen constructs in various stages of development, with their lead construct, ADXS-HPV, currently in Phase 2 clinical development for recurrent/refractory and advanced cervical cancer, CIN 2/3, and HPV caused head and neck cancers. In April, 2012, ADXS-HPV was recognized as the Best Therapeutic Vaccine (approved or in development) at the 5th Annual Vaccine Industry Excellence (ViE) Awards by the vaccine industry and the journal Expert Reviews of Vaccines.
For additional information, visit Advaxis.com
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