Geron Announces Initiation of Phase I Clinical Trial of Vaccine Candidate Targeting Telomerase by Merck
News Dec 04, 2008
Geron Corporation has announced that its collaborator, Merck & Co., Inc., has initiated a Phase I clinical trial of V934/V935, a non-dendritic cell based cancer vaccine candidate targeting telomerase.
The trial will assess the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate in patients with solid tumors, including non-small cell lung cancer and prostate carcinoma.
Merck is developing the vaccine candidate under a July 2005 Research, Development and Commercialization License Agreement with Geron that provided Merck with exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize non–dendritic cell based vaccines targeting telomerase.
“We are pleased that Merck has advanced this cancer vaccine candidate into the clinic,” said Thomas B. Okarma, Ph.D., M.D., Geron’s president and chief executive officer. “We appreciate the collaborative nature of our relationship with Merck and look forward to working with them to realize the potential of this therapy.”
Telomerase activity is essential for the indefinite replicative capacity that enables malignant cell growth. The telomerase protein is highly expressed in many cancers, but is absent or expressed only transiently at low levels in most normal cells.
Geron’s in-house cancer vaccine program (GRNVAC1) is based on autologous dendritic cell delivery of the telomerase antigen to induce a cellular immune response.
Geron is currently sponsoring a Phase II clinical trial of GRNVAC1 in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Geron is also developing an allogeneic telomerase vaccine candidate (GRNVAC2) based on dendritic cells derived from human embryonic stem cells.
Unraveling How Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Gum Tissue Accelerate Wound HealingNews
To assist with wound healing, mesenchymal stem cells from the gum tissue secrete extracellular vesicles that contain the anti-inflammatory signaling molecule IL-1RA.READ MORE
Study Extends Potential of Personalized Cell-based ImmunotherapiesNews
New methods developed for the study could be applied to devise personalized, cell-based immunotherapies for epithelial ovarian cancer or other types of tumorsREAD MORE
'Body-on-a-Chip' Could Advance Drug EvaluationNews
MIT engineers have developed new technology that could be used to evaluate new drugs and detect possible side effects before the drugs are tested in humans. Using a microfluidic platform that connects engineered tissues from up to 10 organs, the researchers can accurately replicate human organ interactions for weeks at a time.READ MORE