NEW YORK, April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
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Survivalrates for several major cancers have steadily improved over the last couple of decades, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Still, an annual report estimates there will be nearly 1.7 million new cancer cases in 2017, and close to 700,000
Emerging treatment options in the field of oncology include immunotherapy, pills for blood-based conditions such as multiple myeloma, and drugs for skin, lung and other cancers. As reported by QuintilesIMS (formerly IMS Health), more than 70 new cancer treatments were developed in the past five years, demonstrating the global need for effective cancer treatments.
Clinical-stage immune-oncology company TapImmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: TPIV) is particularly focused on the potential of immunotherapy - which stimulates the body's immune response to prevent or treat diseases - for the treatment of women's cancers with high recurrence rates, namely ovarian and breast cancer. Because TapImmune's innovations center on immunotherapy, it is worth noting that ovarian and breast cancer are typically resistant to most immunotherapies. The company's approach to immune-oncology therapy, however, demonstrates unique potential to go against the grain.
TapImmune has two T-cell vaccine candidates (TPIV 200 and TPIV 110) designed to overcome shortcomings of earlier vaccines. The technology platform behind these candidates combines unique and proprietary sets of peptide antigens designed to stimulate both killer T-cell and helper T-cell immune responses against well-characterized molecular targets associated with disease prognosis.
The goal is to trigger a natural immune response against both the primary tumor as well as metastatic disease to help prevent cancer recurrence and as a second-line therapy for women who are resistant to first-line therapies. To achieve this goal, the vaccines are comprised of naturally processed antigens from human immune responses recognized by more than 85% of the population, as well as a mix of class I and class II antigens to achieve an anti-tumor immune response across a broader patient population.
TapImmune's lead vaccine candidate, TPIV 200, is being evaluated in three phase 2 clinical studies, and the company anticipates initiating a fourth study later this year. In the completed phase 1 study, TPIV 200 demonstrated positive results that were published in the Journal of Oncology and which led to significant collaborations for phase 2.
The company has also developed and owns a novel proprietary preclinical technology called Poly Start, which can improve the effectiveness of DNA-based immunotherapies by amplifying the target antigen's visibility, recognition of target cells, and the ability for a patient's immune system to find and eliminate cancer cells. PolyStart also provides TapImmune additional opportunities to explore applications against infectious disease.
Another leader in cancer immunotherapy drugs is Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), which has developed such a treatment for an aggressive type of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma. In addition, the FDA is considering using this drug to fight bladder cancer. Late-stage clinical trials are supporting additional applications too. Pfizer's drug could eventually have applications in head and neck, stomach, kidney, and lung cancers. In 2016, it began investigating three new immunotherapy drugs in collaboration with several leading health organizations, using its own proprietary immunotherapy agnostic monoclonal antibodies.
Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) is the brainchild of Revlimid, a blood cancer pill that was approved by the FDA in 2005 for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Although the drug has been on the market for over a decade, it had a 20% jump in sales in 2016, generating $6.97 billion in revenue that year. Celgene is also developing new drug candidates for treating diseases other than cancer.
Opdivo, approved in 2014, was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) and has been used to treat various types of cancer. Able to stop tumor cells from shutting down the immune system, the drug has been studied alongside standard types of chemotherapy. It didn't outperform these types of care in studies, but it was the first chemo-free treatment for lung cancer and remains a second-line therapy. It's currently being explored for treating head and neck, bladder, kidney, and skin cancer as well as lymphoma. The company has also developed Sprycel, a leukemia drug, and Empliciti, a monoclonal antibody for patients with relapsing multiple myeloma.
Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ: CLVS) is the creator of Rubraca for advanced ovarian cancer in patients with certain BRCA gene mutations and who've been treated with at least two other chemotherapy drugs. The medication is prescribed as a pill. Preclinical and clinical trial drugs are being explored and include treatments for triple negative breast cancer, gastroesophageal cancer, and gynecologic cancers. Leading in development is rucaparib, a small molecule inhibitor of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) 1, 2 and 3. Being used for ovarian cancer treatment, it's also in clinical development for certain prostate cancer patients.
According to a study by QuintilesIMS, the global market for cancer treatments reached $107 billion in 2015. Thanks to an unprecedented number of innovations by companies like TapImmune and others, the market is expected to continue to grow 7.5-10.5 percent each year to hit $150 billion by 2020, delivering new hope for the fight against cancer.
For more information on TapImmune, visit: TapImmune, Inc. (TPIV) or http://www.Tapimmune.com
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