SAN RAMON, Calif., Sept. 13, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galena Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:GALE), a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of hematology and oncology therapeutics that address unmet medical needs, today announced that preclinical data from the Company’s NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) program is being presented today at the Progress in Vaccination Against Cancer (PIVAC) Conference in Winchester, UK. NeuVax contains the immunodominant peptide derived from the extracellular region of the HER2 protein, which is expressed in ovarian and pancreatic cancers as well as in breast cancer.
The poster, entitled, “Preclinical study on the efficacy of NeuVax peptide vaccine against human Her2+/ HLA-A2.1+ ovarian and pancreatic cancer,” demonstrated the results of HLA-A2 transgenic mice that were immunized with NeuVax (E75) mixed with recombinant mouse GM-CSF (NeuVax mice). As control, a group of mice received GM-CSF alone (control mice). CD8+ T cells purified from the spleens of HLA-A2 transgenic immunized mice were adoptively transferred to NSG (NOD/SCID/IL2Rγnull) mice bearing human ovarian or pancreatic tumors which were HER2+, HLA-A2+.
Administration of the NeuVax vaccination resulted in a specific, delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction and in the induction of E75 specific CD8+ T cells that express PD-1 (programmed T-cell death protein). Both ovarian and pancreatic tumor growth rate was significantly reduced in NSG mice that received the CD8+ T cells from NeuVax-immunized mice compared to those receiving CD8+ T cells from control mice. Additionally, PD-1 was identified on activated CD8+ T cells.
“The findings from this preclinical mouse model provide scientific bases about the efficacy of NeuVax vaccination in hampering ovarian and pancreatic tumor progression by showing both DTH reactions and NeuVax specific CD8+ T cells,” said Bijan Nejadnik, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “Importantly, the expression of PD-1 on activated CD8+ T cells suggests an opportunity to investigate the efficacy of NeuVax in combination with PD-1 inhibitors. We appreciate the work and dedication on this study run by our partners at the University of Torino in Italy.”
About NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S)
NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) is a first-in-class, HER2-directed cancer immunotherapy currently under evaluation to prevent breast cancer recurrence after standard of care treatment in the adjuvant setting. It is the immunodominant peptide derived from the extracellular domain of the HER2 protein, a well-established target for therapeutic intervention in breast carcinoma. The nelipepimut-S sequence stimulates specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) following binding to specific HLA molecules on antigen presenting cells (APC). These activated specific CTLs recognize, neutralize and destroy, through cell lysis, HER2 expressing cancer cells, including occult cancer cells and micrometastatic foci. The nelipepimut-S immune response can also generate CTLs to other immunogenic peptides through inter- and intra-antigenic epitope spreading. In clinical studies, NeuVax is combined with recombinant granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF).
NeuVax is currently in two breast cancer studies in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin®; Genentech/Roche): a Phase 2b trial in node positive and triple negative HER2 IHC 1+/2+ (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01570036); and, a Phase 2 trial in high risk, node positive or negative HER2 IHC 3+ patients (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02297698). Phase 2 clinical trials with NeuVax are also planned in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and in patients with gastric cancer.
About Ovarian Cancer1
New cases of ovarian cancer occur at an annual rate of 11.9 per 100,000 women in the U.S., with an estimated 22,280 new cases and 14,240 deaths in 2016. Approximately 46.2% of ovarian cancer patients are expected to survive five years after diagnosis. Approximately 1.3% of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at some point during their lifetime (2010 – 2012 data). The prevalence data from 2013 showed an estimated 195,767 women living with pancreas cancer in the United States.
About Pancreatic Cancer1
New cases of pancreatic cancer occur at an annual rate of 12.4 per 100,000 men and women in the U.S., with an estimated 53,070 new cases and 41,780 deaths in 2016. Only 7.7% of pancreatic cancer patients are expected to survive five years after diagnosis. Approximately 1.5 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with pancreas cancer at some point during their lifetime (2010-2012 data). The prevalence data from 2013 showed an estimated 49,620 people living with pancreas cancer in the United States.
1National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program
About Galena Biopharma
Galena Biopharma, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of hematology and oncology therapeutics that address unmet medical needs. Galena’s pipeline consists of multiple mid-to-late-stage clinical assets led by its hematology asset, GALE-401, and novel cancer immunotherapy programs including NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) and GALE-301/GALE-302. For more information, visit www.galenabiopharma.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the progress of the development of Galena’s product candidates, including NeuVax, patient enrollment in our clinical trials, as well as other statements related to the progress and timing of our development activities, present or future licensing, collaborative or financing arrangements, expected outcomes with regulatory agencies, and projected market opportunities for product candidates or that otherwise relate to future periods. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those identified under “Risk Factors” in Galena’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements. Galena does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this press release.
NeuVax is a trademark of Galena Biopharma, Inc.
CONTACT: Contact: Remy Bernarda SVP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications (925) 498-7709 firstname.lastname@example.org