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Advaxis, Inc. (ADXS) Continues To Impress

|Includes: Advaxis Inc. (ADXS)

When Zacks Small Cap Research came out with their positive evaluation of Advaxis, a biotech company using Listeria bacteria to develop immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, the focus was on the encouraging results the company has been getting in its Phase II trial of its ADXS-HPV drug for cervical cancer, as well as on the growing strength of its balance sheet.

The Advaxis Phase II trial of ADXS-HPV is almost completed, due to be closed in June 2013, and early results remain encouraging. On the safety side, a key initial evaluation for all drugs, ADXS-HPV is showing to be well tolerated and manageable, with approximately a third of the patients testing reporting basic flu-like symptoms that self-resolve or respond to symptomatic treatment. Less than 2% reported any serious adverse events, compared to traditional chemotherapy treated patients showing 100% of patients experiencing some form of severe adverse effects. In addition, preliminary efficacy results also appear promising.

This is considered to be the primary potential strength of immunotherapy - the ability to successfully target cancer cells with minimal collateral damage to healthy cells, making treatment more tolerable and safe. Zacks considers Advaxis live attenuated Listeria technology a unique immunotherapeutic platform for targeting various cancer indications and infectious diseases, pointing to advantages the technology has over other immunotherapies. According to the Zacks report:

• Advaxis Listeria-based cancer vaccine can deliver bioengineered cancer antigen fused with a unique, proprietary strong adjuvant LLO which elicits both innate and adaptive immune systems in the body to fight cancer. The immune response elicited by Advaxis cancer vaccines has been the most comprehensive and robust so far in the industry.
• Advaxis cancer vaccines can reduce the amount of regulatory T cells and myeloid suppressor cells which help protect tumors from attacking by cytotoxic T cells.
• Another distinctive feature of Advaxis cancer vaccines is its ability to change the ratio between killer T-cells and regulatory T cells (the Kill Ratio) inside the tumor from a 1:1.3 to a 22.7:1.

They conclude by reporting how, based on this unique platform technology, Advaxis has established a pipeline targeting a variety of cancer indications, including cervical cancer/cervical dysplasia, head and neck cancer, prostate cancer, anal cancer, and breast/brain cancers. The company currently has three Phase II clinical trials and two Phase I/II under way, and three additional Phase I trials are planned.

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