Some have questioned whether issues with the launch of Dendreon’s prostate cancer vaccine, Provenge, will impact the market for other immunotherapies. A likely next-up autologous cancer vaccine is BioVest’s BiovaxID®, initially being developed for follicular lymphoma. The Provenge manufacturing process requires that cells are removed from the patient, treated in the laboratory, and then returned to the patient. For BiovaxID, hybridoma cells are used to express the lymphoma patient’s individual tumor idiotype. Details on their advantages can be found here. With regard to autologous manufacturing, Biovest’s president Samuel S. Duffey pointed out that the indolent nature of follicular lymphoma is such that the production time frames are not as limited as Dendreon’s. He says that Dendreon’s manufacturing and administration cycle impacts billing and reimbursement, which he doesn’t predict will happen with BiovaxID.
Will Biovest’s immunotherapy for follicular lymphoma, if approved, gain acceptance more quickly than Dendreon’s vaccine for prostate cancer?