US-based Vaxenta Biotechnologies has filed a patent cooperation treaty (PCT) application (SN: PCT/US13/55632) with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), covering the development of a novel vaccination therapy for treating cancer.

The filing of this international patent, entitled ‘Placental Vaccination Therapy for Cancer’, enables the company to pursue further stages of development while securing key intellectual property priority dates in the immunotherapy area.

On 19 August 2013, the patent was filed with a priority date of 20 August 2012, based on the provisional filing.

The PCT application will allow the company priority rights to intellectual property in more than 140 countries, as well as help facilitate international expansion.

Progressive research has led to Vaxenta’s discovery and development of an innovative immunotherapeutic vaccine called XenUvaX, which is currently undergoing late stages of pre-clinical testing for the treatment of cancer.

Pre-clinical studies conducted on rodents using both colon and melanoma cancer models demonstrated reproducible results among different cancer indications with the same product.

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The company plans to target melanoma as the initial indication for XenUvaX, while expanding research to include prostate, ovarian, breast, bladder and lung cancer.

Through successful manufacturing, research, and FDA filings, Vaxenta intends to expand treatment based on the body’s condition during pregnancy.

Vaxenta founder and CEO Boris Markosian said the product’s ability to specifically target immune evasion mechanisms used by tumourous growths is anticipated to revolutionise the industry as therapies become tailored toward each individual.

The treatment is based on structural and molecular homologies between placental and cancer cells. The invention discloses methods of stimulating an immune response to cancer tissue and biological effectors used by tumours to defeat the host, specifically through immunisation.

"Pre-clinical studies conducted on rodents using both colon and melanoma cancer models demonstrated reproducible results among different cancer indications with the same product."

XenUvaX was created based on commonalities in immune modulation after examining systems that are used to protect foetal growth.

The company’s research found that proteins involved in immune suppression are unique to placental tissue and have also been detected distinctly in certain tumour growths.

According to the company, treatment re-awakens the immune system and helps it recognise foreign markers presented on cancer cells, in an effort to safely and naturally defeat cancer.

These similarities have proven effective at reducing cancer growth in animal models, preventing angiogenesis, and stopping metastasis.

In addition, the treatment works as a prophylactic, which can be administered either before or after a tumour has been detected.

Vaxenta plans to further its research in immunotherapy area and develop a biologic alternative to current chemotherapy and radiotherapy approaches in the near future.

Image: XenUvaX administration into mice bearing melanoma resulted in reduction of tumour growth, compared with animals that received saline control. Graphic: courtesy of Vaxenta Biotechnologies/Business Wire.