Cancer immunotherapies have moved from the laboratory to the marketplace with the U.S. approval of the first human cancer immunotherapeutic (Provenge®) in 2010. In early 2011, another immunotherapeutic, YERVOY™ (ipilimumab; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company), was approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma based on a significant survival improvement of 4 months compared to a control group receiving a gp100 vaccine. BMS also announced recently that YERVOY™ at a higher dose and in combination with chemotherapy met the primary endpoint of improving overall survival in previously-untreated patients with metastatic melanoma.
Our licensee Merial has received approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for ONCEPT®, a therapeutic cancer vaccine that was designed to extend the survival time of dogs with oral melanoma,
Our licensee Merck initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial in 2008 of a DNA cancer vaccine encoding hTERT to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine.