VBI Vaccines Inc. (Nasdaq: VBIV) (“VBI”) today announced that it has applied its eVLP Platform in the development of a novel therapeutic vaccine candidate for glioblastoma multiforme (“Glioblastoma” or “GBM”). Columbia University’s Brain Tumor Center is performing research to evaluate VBI’s GBM immunotherapy candidate in ex vivo studies using GBM patient samples.
Glioblastoma is among the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumors in humans. In the U.S. alone, 12,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.1 The current standard of care for GBM is surgical resection, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Even with aggressive treatment, GBM progresses rapidly and is exceptionally lethal, with median patient survival of less than sixteen months.2
A growing body of research has demonstrated that GBM tumors are particularly susceptible to infection by cytomegalovirus (“CMV”), with over 90% of GBM tumors expressing CMV antigens.3 In addition, recent research has demonstrated that dendritic cell priming combined with dendritic cell vaccination against CMV can extend overall survival in patients with glioblastoma.4
“Recent advances in this field are promising, but there is still need for improved CMV vaccination approaches for GBM,” said Dr. David E. Anderson, Ph.D., VBI’s Chief Scientific Officer. “Our eVLP approach has allowed for the efficient delivery of multiple CMV antigens, and in the case of GBM, we believe could be capable of mobilizing a broad and robust anti-tumor immune response against GBM. Further, we have demonstrated the ability to manufacture eVLP-derived vaccine candidates with yields and purity that are expected to be suitable for production at a commercial scale.”
VBI is seeking to leverage its eVLP Platform and its expertise in CMV to develop a therapeutic vaccine candidate that has been designed to direct an immune response against glycoprotein B and pp65, two CMV antigens that are highly immunogenic targets during natural infection. The vaccine candidate includes an adjuvant that mobilizes dendritic function and enhances Th1-type immunity.
VBI is evaluating the ability of its vaccine candidate to stimulate CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (“PBMCs”) harvested from healthy patients and patients with GBM; CD4+ and CD8+ immune responses are critical to efficacious anti-tumor immunity. VBI will also monitor several biomarkers predictive of clinical efficacy.
Columbia University’s Brain Tumor Center, a world-class academic environment for the treatment of neurological diseases, combines exceptional patient care with innovative research and cutting edge technology. More than 400 patients undergo surgery for brain tumors at Columbia each year, making it one of the preeminent brain tumor centers in the U.S.5
To learn more about VBI’s GBM Immunotherapy Program, visit: https://www.vbivaccines.com/gbm/
- Dolecek TA, Propp JM, Stroup NE, et al. (2012) CBTRUS statistical report: Primary brain and central nervous system tumors diagnosed in the United States in 2005-2009. Neuro Oncol 14(suppl 5):v1–v49.
- Johnson DR, O’neill BP. Glioblastoma survival in the United States before and during the temozolomide era. J Neurooncol. 2012;107(2):359-64.
- Mitchell DA, Xie W, Schmittling R, et al. Sensitive detection of human cytomegalovirus in tumors and peripheral blood of patients diagnosed with glioblastoma. Neuro-oncology. 2008;10(1):10-8.
- Mitchell DA, Batich KA, Gunn MD, et al. Tetanus toxoid and CCL3 improve dendritic cell vaccines in mice and glioblastoma patients. Nature. 2015;519(7543):366-9.
VBI Vaccines Inc. (“VBI”) is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel technologies that seek to expand vaccine protection in large underserved markets. VBI’s eVLP vaccine platform allows for the design of enveloped (“e”) virus-like particle (“VLP”) vaccines that closely mimic the target virus. VBI’s lead eVLP asset is a prophylactic Cytomegalovirus (“CMV”) vaccine; VBI has initiated work for GMP manufacturing of its CMV candidate for use in formal preclinical and Phase I trials. VBI’s LPV platform is a thermostable technology that enables the development of vaccines and biologics that can withstand storage or shipment at constantly fluctuating temperatures. VBI has completed proof of concept thermostability studies on a number of vaccine and biologic targets. VBI is headquartered in Cambridge, MA with research facilities in Ottawa, Canada.
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