Doylestown, PA (PRWEB) October 20, 2006
Immunotope, Inc. a biotechnology company developing cancer diagnostics and immunotherapeutics, has been awarded a Phase II SBIR contract from the US Army to develop an autoantibody-based early-stage diagnostic test for prostate cancer. The two-year, $780,000 award will fund the development of a noninvasive, highly sensitive and selective blood test.
“Our test is based on the detection of autoantibodies, an immune response that is stimulated by the earliest presence of cancer in the patient’s body that does not occur in healthy individuals. We have identified prostate cancer-specific autoantibody ‘signatures’, which are biomarkers that we are using to create an accurate and sensitive blood test to diagnose the presence of prostate cancer long before it can be detected by current methods” said Ramila Philip, Immunotope President and Chief Scientific Officer.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and second leading cause of cancer-related death in men. An important objective of the program is to develop a new diagnostic test that is a more accurate predictor of prostate cancer than the current PSA test, particularly in the range of 4 to 10 ng/ml. The high rate of false positive results (approximately 70%) of this test forces hundreds of thousands of patients each year to undergo further, invasive testing to obtain a definitive result. Thus, there is a critical need for more highly sensitive and specific screening assays to diagnose prostate cancer and to monitor recurrence and effectiveness of treatment.
Immunotope’s test will be fully compatible with commercial clinical diagnostic formats and ready for large-scale clinical testing as part of the FDA 510K marketability approval process at the end of the Phase II program.
In addition to diagnostic applications, this biomarker program has also generated immunologically functional targets for the development of multivalent immunotherapeutic vaccines for treatment of prostate cancer that Immunotope will develop as a companion product to the diagnostic test. Once the diagnostic test has determined that a patient has prostate cancer, the immunotherapeutic vaccine can be used in combination with surgery to prevent recurrence and metastasis.
Immunotope is a Phase I clinical stage company developing a range of safe and effective immunotherapy products for the treatment and prevention of cancer and chronic viral infections. Our comprehensive approach to cancer therapy focuses on the critical, unmet need to diagnose prostate, ovarian and lung cancers at the very earliest stages and to develop effective treatments that destroy tumors and prevent recurrence. Immunotope’s lead product is the OCPM immunotherapeutic vaccine, now entering a Phase I clinical trials as a treatment for women with advanced stage ovarian cancer. In August 2005, Immunotope received a competitive award from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA to fund the clinical trial. For more information, visit http://www.immunotope.com.
This work is supported by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command under Contract No. W81XWH-06-C-0017. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation. In the conduct of research where humans are the subjects, the investigator(s) will adhere to the policies regarding the protection of human subjects as prescribed by Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 45, Volume 1, Part 46; Title 32, Chapter 1, Part 219; and Title 21, Chapter 1, Part 50 (Protection of Human Subjects).
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