- Apr 9, 2006
Avax Technologies and Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) are partnering to progress each other’s cancer therapeutics. CTCA will serve as the center for Avax’ ovarian cancer vaccine, O-Vax. Additionally, Avax will produce CTCA's activated natural killer (NK) cell technology for the treatment of various cancers.
Avax is planning a Phase I/II IND for the treatment of stage III and IV ovarian cancer patients who have relapsed following chemotherapy. The study will be based at CTCA's hospital in Zion, IL. Eligible patients from CTCA's other clinical centers in Philadelphia, Seattle, and Tulsa, OK, also will be referred.
Over the three-year term of the collaboration and production agreement, Avax will receive R&D support of $1.15 million. The funding will go toward the initial production of vaccines and bringing on line its biological clean room facility in Philadelphia that will be utilized to produce vaccines and activated NK cell preparations.
O-Vax is an AC vaccine therapeutic prepared by attaching a small chemical to the patient's tumor cells in a process known as haptenization. This hapten modification allows the tumor cells to stimulate a T-cell based immune response to a patients own tumor cells.
"This alliance will allow us to expand the therapeutic utility of the AC vaccine platform along with our ongoing Phase I/II programs in melanoma and non-small-cell-lung cancer and our recently launched Phase III registration study in melanoma,” states Richard Rainey, president of Avax.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America announced today its plans to launch a new cancer vaccine therapy that expands treatment options for thousands of women with advanced stage ovarian cancer. This innovative treatment will be offered by Cancer Treatment Centers of America and developed by AVAX Technologies, Inc.
"Cancer Treatment Centers of America's number one priority is to help our patients win the battle against cancer," said Dr. Edgar Staren, Chief Medical Officer of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. "This vaccine therapy represents a promising new chapter in the fight against this devastating disease and brings hope to women everywhere."
The breakthrough treatment method uses the patient's own tumor tissues to create a patient-specific vaccine and is combined with chemotherapy delivered directly into the abdominal cavity.
Ovarian cancer, one of the hardest cancers to detect in the early stages, is a very complex disease that is often resistant to chemotherapy. Cancer Treatment Centers of America will offer this new treatment to patients whose cancer has recurred after chemotherapy.
"To win the fight against cancer, it is absolutely vital we do everything we can to make innovative new treatments like this available to patients as soon as possible," said Dr. Staren. It's inconceivable that treatments like these – that give hope to patients – are often left on the laboratory bench, while cancer patients are told there is nothing more that can be done for them."
Cancer Treatment Centers of America expects to start treating patients this summer. This promising vaccine technology hopes to eventually be available to treat other forms of cancer including colorectal and lung cancer patients, as well as patients with malignant melanomas.
Source: Cancer Treatment Center of America