This recent press release
from Opexa suggests that they may be improving their methods of making the vaccine. Hopefully, this will increase the efficacy of the current vaccine and, in the future, help get people into the Phase III study more quickly once it begins.
Opexa Presents Tovaxin™ Research at Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies Annual Meeting
June 11, 2007 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
THE WOODLANDS, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPXA), a company involved in the development and commercialization of cell therapies, made a poster presentation at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) in San Diego June 7-11 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. The poster, entitled “Identifying New Immunodominant Myelin Peptides in Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients” was presented on Sunday, June 10.
The presentation covered laboratory and clinical data from the Company’s proprietary T-cell vaccination technology for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Key highlights of research detailed in the poster presentation include:
- Data accumulated from over 173 assays (using a T-cell Epitope Analysis Assay (EAA)) have allowed Opexa to identify several myelin protein peptides from myelin basic protein (MBP), myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) as being immunodominant, including some peptides never before reported, and others as being non-reactive,
- The EAA can be utilized to screen additional or combinations of peptides that have biological significance and;
- These results have permitted Opexa to optimize the number of myelin peptides across the lengths of MBP, PLP and MOG in the screening assay for Tovaxin™ vaccine production to qualify subjects for Opexa’s current 150-patient Phase IIb safety and efficacy clinical trial (TERMS).
“These findings mark an important development for Tovaxin, which is a patient-specific autologous T-cell vaccine, because it helps us qualify subjects for our current clinical trial and improves production of the vaccine. The EAA is an important assay for further refinement of the T-cell vaccination technology, which is truly personalized, to make the therapy as efficacious as possible for each patient,” said Jim Williams, PhD, chief operating officer.
About T-cell Vaccination
For a T-cell vaccine to be effective, it should be able to induce T-cell cytotoxic and/or regulatory immune responses against the pathogenic T-cells. Studies of T-cell vaccine have indicated that T-cell vaccination with peripheral blood-derived autologous myelin-peptide selected T-cells in multiple sclerosis patients resulted in the in vivo induction of CD8+ cytotoxic T-cells and CD4+CD25+FoxP3 Tregs specific for T-cell vaccine. The induction of anti-idiotypic cytotoxic CD8+ effector T-cells and anti-ergotypic CD4+CD25+FoxP3 positive Tregs is believed to provide a therapeutically effective dual mechanism of protection to patients treated with Tovaxin™. The observed regulatory immune responses have been shown to collectively correlate with clinical improvement in treated patients.