Epidemic in Pet Cancers Being Fought by Florida Firm, Morphogenesis; Dr. Michael Lawman Discusses ImmuneFx(TM) at World Vaccine Congress

TAMPA, Fla., June 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The incidence of deadly cancers in people worldwide is expected to rise from 13.2 million cases recorded in 2010 to a projected 22.2 million in 2030, with treatment costs approaching $460 billion, according to the American Cancer Society.

Those statistics and more were revealed in an address to the World Vaccine Congress by Michael J.P. Lawman, Ph.D., President, Chairman and Chief Science Officer at Tampa-based Morphogenesis Inc. and lead developer of the ImmuneFx™ cancer vaccine.

"It is a sad fact that one in four dogs and one in three cats in our households will die of cancer this year," said Dr. Lawman, co-inventor of ImmuneFx™. "With more than 83 million dogs and 95 million cats in homes across the U.S., our work is focused on reducing the suffering for the pets and their pet parents. And, we have high hopes for ImmuneFx™ in treating humans."

Morphogenesis is leading the fight to manage what is being called an epidemic in humans but could also be called an epidemic in companion animals. The company is working toward a cure with its commercially available pet cancer vaccine, ImmuneFx™.

Lawman explained that ImmuneFx™ harnesses the power of the pet's own immune system to identify and destroy invasive cancer cells. The cancer vaccine is a type of immunotherapy, which was the primary topic at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington, D.C.

Since canine and human immune systems work the same way, the scientists at Morphogenesis Inc. have a great deal of optimism that the safety and effectiveness of the ImmuneFx™ approach seen in pet animals with naturally occurring cancers will translate directly into success in their human clinical trials.

The vaccine has also been useful in fighting cancers in horses, and a formal clinical study is now underway at a major equine facility in Missouri. It is estimated there are 8.3 million horses in 2.8 million households in the U.S.

Immunotherapy in one form or another has been applied in the fight against human diseases since 1893, and over the past 20 years, Morphogenesis has conducted the research and development necessary to take the process to its current level of promise.

Experts in the field believe that in 10 years, immunotherapy will likely form the backbone of 60 percent of all cancer management regimens in the developed world. "The market is currently not reflecting the likely breadth of cancer indications addressable with these new immunotherapeutic approaches," said Dr. Lawman.


Founded by Drs. Michael and Patricia Lawman, along with a team of scientists, Morphogenesis began operations at the University of Florida's Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Institute in Alachua more than two decades ago. Past professional associations include work at the University of Florida, the Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute, the University of Tennessee, Auburn University, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.

Morphogenesis is a privately-held biotechnology company structured to serve the rapidly growing cell therapy, biologics and tissue engineering markets. Morphogenesis has developed a multi-indication cancer therapy which educates the immune system to attack tumor cells throughout the body without damaging other cells or systems. Its subsidiary, Veterinary Oncology Services Inc., assists veterinary physicians in providing this non-toxic, personalized treatment for many types of cancers in cats, dogs and horses. For more information about the Lawmans and Morphogenesis, please visit www.morphogenesis-inc.com. For more information about Veterinary Oncology Services, please visit www.veterinaryoncologyservices.com.

CONTACT: Andrew Bowen 813-374-3735 ab@clearviewcom.comSource:Morphogenesis Inc.