Mymetics Corporation, a US registered biotechnology company with its main office in Switzerland, has partnered with Australian biotech Imugene to manufacture and develop HER-Vaxx, a cancer immunotherapy vaccine, which is set to enter into a Phase I/II clinical trial in 2015.
Mymetics is a developer of new generation vaccines, using virosomes, reconstituted membranes of enveloped virus, as an effective adjuvant and vaccine delivery platform alongside innovative antigens derived from mucosal antibodies.
The company expects to use its expertise in virosome-based vaccines to develop Imugene’s HER-Vaxx cancer vaccine, a HER-2+ B-cell peptide immunotherapy that triggers an immune response directed at the HER-2 receptor present on certain types of breast and gastric cancers. HER-Vaxx comprises three peptides derived from sequences of HER-2 conjugated to an influenza virosome that, upon injection, activates a patient’s own immune system, enabling it to produce antibodies against HER-2 and ultimately resulting in tumor cell death.
Both pre-clinical in vivo experiments as well as Phase I clinical trials in patients with late stage breast cancer have proven HER-Vaxx to induce a potent humoral and cellular immune response against HER-2, with few associated side effects. These promising results lead to a Phase II clinical trial in gastric cancer, currently under preparation.
“This deal further confirms and recognizes Mymetics as a global leader and niche player in the development and formulation of virosomes and integration of membrane proteins and peptides for immunotherapy and vaccine candidates,” said Ronald Kempers, CEO of Mymetics, in a BioPharma-Reporter interview.
“Mymetics uses the same vaccine delivery platform for infectious diseases that we are using for our immune-oncology program and together both companies will work to exploit the potential value of influenza-based virosomes,” added Dr. Nick Ede, Executive Director of Imugene.
In addition to the HER-Vaxx, Mymetics has multiple vaccines in its line of production, targeting HIV-1/AIDS, intra-nasal influenza, malaria, herpes simplex virus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. From these, the HIV-1 vaccine has completed a Phase I trial and a Phase Ib study for the malaria vaccine has been completed.