Advaxis said today it will join with University of California, San Francisco, to study its prostate cancer immunotherapy ADXS-PSA as well as several constructs for new potential immunotherapies, each built on Advaxis’ delivery technology. The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.

Lawrence Fong, M.D., professor in the Department of Medicine and principal investigator of the studies at UCSF, will lead a research team in evaluating ADXS-PSA and the constructs. Dr. Fong and his team have identified several tumor targets associated with clinical responses in immunotherapy studies for prostate cancer and will join Advaxis investigators to adapt the targets to the company’s immunotherapy platform.

ADXS-PSA is designed to target the PSA antigen associated with prostate cancer, as well as inhibit the Treg and MDSC cells that facilitate immunologic tolerance of prostate cancer. Advaxis plans to advance ADXS-PSA to Phase I clinical trials in the first half of this year.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with novel immunotherapies and enhance our understanding of the interaction between the immune system and prostate cancer. We look forward to studying this treatment in combination with some of UCSF's proprietary tumor antigens,” Dr. Fong said in a statement.

Advaxis said data generated from its collaboration with UCSF is designed to demonstrate the combination of the company’s immunotherapy platform—which generates both tumor fighting T cells and reduces tumor protection inside the tumor microenvironment—with targets already shown to be important in effective immunotherapies for prostate cancer.

By incorporating PSA into the company’s live, attenuated vector, Advaxis said it plans to deliver the PSA antigen, fused to the powerful immunostimulant LLO, directly inside antigen presenting cells that are capable of driving a cellular immune response to PSA expressing cells.

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