The University of California has licensed a patented cancer vaccine technology discovered and developed by Maurizio Zanetti, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Laboratory of Immunology at the University of California, San Diego’s (UCSD) Moores Cancer Center, to Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp., of San Diego. Adamis licensed a complementary patent, based on similar technology, from the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
The technology constitutes the basis of a cell-based cancer vaccine, TeloB-VAX, which activates the body’s natural defense machinery to stimulate an immune response against one of nature’s universal tumor markers, telomerase. The vaccine uses a patient’s own B cells as antigen-producing and antigen-presenting cells. B cells represent approximately 12% of circulating blood cells. The TeloB-VAX vaccine “is the first concrete opportunity to program the immune system to mobilize killer lymphocytes to combat cancer cells, whether these are adult differentiated cells or progenitor cancer stem cells,” Zanetti says. “Since telomerase is increased in over 85% of all cancers, the vaccine can potentially be used to treat multiple cancer types, such as breast, lung, and colon cancer. It can truly be considered a platform therapeutic vaccine technology.”