Defence’s successful study on the ACCUVAC-PT007 vaccine

Defence's successful study on the ACCUVAC-PT007 vaccine
© iStock/alphaspirit

Defence Therapeutics Inc. has announced its successful study on its ACCUVAC-PT007 vaccine, which targets cervical cancer.

Defence Therapeutics Inc. a Canadian biopharmaceutical company specialised in the development of immune-oncology vaccines and drug delivery technologies, is pleased to report the successful completion of its Good Laboratory Practice (“GLP”) studies on the AccuVAC-PT007 vaccine candidate specifically designed to target cervical cancer. GLP studies conducted on rodents demonstrate a full spectrum of safety and tolerability with no signs of complications.

de normally occurs when epithelial cells of the cervix are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted disease. Although HPV infections can resorb, infections escaping the immune system ultimately led to genital warts leading to advanced cancers that are hardly treated with standard of care. Currently, vaccination targeting HPV directly can protect from cervical cancer. However commercially available vaccines (containing a mix of 9 HPV-derived L1 proteins) are not designed to protect from all HPV subtypes and the vaccine on the market cannot be used to treat pre-established cervical cancer. Defence focused on this “gap” by engineering AccuVAC-PT007, a protein-based vaccine containing a single oncoprotein (E7) linked to AccumTM for enhanced antigen presentation by the immune system. This vaccine can not only be used to protect from HPV (prophylactic use), but it is the only experimental vaccine capable of curing established cervical cancer combined with immune-checkpoint inhibitors. The AccuVac may be a solution.

Developing the AccuVAC-PT007 vaccine

Using the AccumTM platform, Defence developed the AccuVAC-PT007, a protein-based vaccine targeting the E7 oncoprotein of the HPV virus. AccuVAC-PT007 was previously shown to provide complete protection against cervical cancer (prophylactic vaccination) as shown in our press release dated on May 17, 2022. These ground-breaking observations led to the testing of AccuVAC-PT007 as a treatment with pre-established cervical cancer (therapeutic vaccination). Pre-clinical studies conducted on rodents, as reported in our press release dated on June 27, 2022, showed that the co-delivery of AccuVAC-PT007 with several immune-checkpoint blockers (anti-PD-1, anti-CTLA4 or anti-CD47) led to potent control of tumour growth with a more pronounced effect observed with anti-CD47, one of the latest immune-checkpoint blockers undergoing clinical development.

“The successful completion of the GLP studies clearly demonstrates the safety and tolerability profile of our AccuVAC-PT007 vaccine. With only one oncoprotein (E7) linked to our AccumTM, we would significantly reduce the manufacturing cost and more importantly our vaccine would have the capacity to cure established cervical cancer. It is another strong example of Defence’s AccumTM technology versatility. And it also shows how dedicated we are to developing efficient vaccines to eradicate tumours. Our AccuVAC-PT007 vaccine is now ready for a Phase I Clinical Trial or partnership/licence with a Pharma”, added Sebastien Plouffe, the CEO of Defence Therapeutics.

Besides cervical cancer, HPV can cause cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat (called oropharyngeal cancer) and can include the base of the tongue and tonsils. In addition, patients with weak immune systems may be unable to fight off a given HPV infection, which brings forward another important ailment with unmet medical needs. This is an opportunity for the AccuVAC-PT007 that Defence has developed.

Cervical cancer has a high mortality rate (nearly 50%), which can be reduced by diagnosis and prevention. A report from 360ResearchReports projected that the global Cervical Cancer Treatment market size is expected to expand at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period, reaching USD 11 billion by 2027.


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