January 9, 2006, INNOVIVE Pharmaceuticals
Vaccine is First WT1 Heteroclitic Peptide Immunotherapeutic to Specifically Target CD4 and CD8 Activation
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 9, 2006–INNOVIVE Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Manhattan, announced today that it has licensed worldwide development rights for a WT1 heteroclitic peptide immunotherapeutic from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. INNOVIVE anticipates commencing Phase I trials in the first half of 2006 to study the immunotherapeutic (INNO-305) in the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and mesothelioma.
WT1 is expressed in most leukemias and in a variety of solid tumors. WT1 expression is a known indicator of poor outcome in acute leukemia.
INNO-305 is unique among WT1 peptide cancer immunotherapeutics because of its ability to stimulate CD8 and CD4 T-cells. It is believed that stimulating both types of T-cells may result in a more robust and ubiquitous immune response. INNO-305 also utilizes heteroclitic technology in which the wild-type WT1 sequences are altered to improve the immunotherapeutic’s ability to activate T-cells.
“Myeloid leukemias respond to activated T-cells, either through bone marrow transplant or donor leukocyte infusion; therefore, we believe that an immunotherapeutic approach against a validated target in this setting holds great potential,” said David A. Scheinberg, M.D., Ph.D., an inventor of the immunotherapeutic and chairman, Experimental Therapeutics Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where the initial Phase I trial will be conducted.
“Recent clinical data from other WT1 peptide immunotherapeutics stimulating CD8 T-cells has been very positive. We believe that the heteroclitic nature of INNO-305 and its potential to activate CD4 as well as CD8 T-cells makes it an excellent addition to INNOVIVE’s growing pipeline,” said Steven Kelly, president and chief executive officer, INNOVIVE Pharmaceuticals Inc.
INNO-305 is the third compound in INNOVIVE’S pipeline. The others are INNO-105 and INNO-406. INNO-105 is a naturally occurring peptide that inhibits cell growth and division by interacting with OGFr, a unique receptor found on the nuclear membrane of a wide range of malignant cells. The company recently announced it had enrolled the first patients in a Phase I clinical trial of INNO-105 in adult patients with advanced solid malignancies. INNO-406 (formerly known as NS-187) is an orally bioavailable, rationally designed, dual Bcr-Abl and Lyn-kinase inhibitor for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). INNO-406 is expected to enter Phase I trials this year.