DRibble Immunotherapy - DPV-001 Lead Agent:
There is a new paradigm for treating cancer that not only complements current therapies, it offers a clear potential for a cure. Immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells.
The immune system is designed to keep the body in balance and in health. Cancer is a condition where the body’s own cells begin to multiply out of control. This is because the body’s cancer fighting cells—T cells and others—do not see the cancer cell as abnormal. In other situations, the immune attack cells see the cancer as abnormal, but can’t destroy it because of certain inhibitors, called “checkpoints.”
New classes of drugs can block these inhibitors, essentially taking the brakes off the immune system. This allows the cells that attack the cancer cells to effectively do their job and return the body to one of healthful balance. The new paradigm - offered by these new drugs - is an important step in not just treating, but eliminating cancer.
The presence of anti-cancer immune cells, specifically cancer killer cells, is critical for effective treatment. Additionally, the more cancer killer cells that recognize different parts of the cancer antigens, the more likely patients will experience regression and possible cure.
UbiVac’s DRibble immunotherapy is a first in class technology that combines more than 100 cancer targets, including at least 13 NCI prioritized cancer antigens, together with five immune stimulants, a spectrum of heat shock proteins and chaperones - all packaged in micro-vesicles that are targeted to dendritic cells, which can educate immune cells to recognize cancer.
UbiVac’s DRibble immunotherapy (DPV-001) contains a spectrum of targets (antigens) that are expressed by most common human cancers, including adenocarcinoma and squamous cell cancers. DRibble has the potential to be an effective “off the shelf” vaccine for these diseases which includes cancers of the lung, prostate, breast, colon, stomach, head and neck, and pancreas.
The immunotherapy is initially administered by ultrasound-guided injection directly into lymph nodes where it have maximum effect on stimulation of an immune response. T-cells, B cells and NK cells respond to the immunotherapy, become activated, multiply, leave the lymph node and travel through the tissues of the body in search of their targets. They actively seek out and destroy cancer cells in all parts of the body.
DPV-001 (DRibble) immunotherapy has completed a U.S. National Cancer Institute supported phase II clinical trial as adjuvant treatment for patients with definitively-treated non-small cell lung cancer. This trial showed the immunotherapy could be administered safely and that patients receiving the DPV-001 immunotherapy developed new or boosted immune responses against a number of cancer antigens.
In preclinical studies, UbiVac’s founders have shown that DRibble immunotherapy combined with anti-OX40 results in significant increases in therapeutic efficacy and apparent cures. Based on these striking findings reported in Scientific Reports, UbiVac is preparing to launch clinical trials combining DPV-001 immunotherapy with anti-OX40 and checkpoint blockade (See Pipeline for updates).
DRibble Immunotherapy – for rare cancers and cancers in children:
UbiVac is also developing immunotherapies for rare cancers including anaplastic thyroid and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). Further, because one of the DPV immunotherapies contains a large number of antigens for pediatric brain tumors, UbiVac is looking for partners to initiate a combination immunotherapy trial for these patients.
DRibble Immunotherapy – to intercept and prevent cancer:
In collaboration with major pharma partner, UbiVac has developed an immunotherapy that appears to delay cancer development and possibly prevent chemically-induced cancers in mice. UbiVac, in collaboration with partners is continuing to develop DPV-007 as an immunotherapy for patients with high-grade oral dysplasia that is likely to progress to oral cancer.
Spread Defective Cytomegalovirus Vector (SdCMV) Immunotherapy
Spread defective Cytomegalovirus Vector (SdCMV) technology is the basis of two products now in preclinical phase. Both seek to improve long-term cancer remission by boosting the T-cell response generated by cancer immunotherapies.
UbiVac, in collaboration with the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and other research partners, have shown that administering a lab-engineered single cycle CMV strain can affect a CD8+ T-cell and B cell immune response. Preliminary studies in two mouse tumor models have been promising. (See Pipeline for current status.)