PRINCETON, N.J., March 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADXS), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies, today announced that data from a Phase 2 study of its lead Lm immunotherapy candidate in HPV-associated head and neck cancer, axalimogene filolisbac (AXAL), has been selected as a late-breaker poster presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. According to AACR’s selection criteria, late-breaking abstracts demonstrate highly significant and timely findings in any area of cancer research that were not available at the time of the regular abstract deadline. Additionally, only abstracts deemed to be of high scientific priority are accepted for presentation.
The Phase 2 study by Andrew G. Sikora, M.D., Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and co-director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program in the NCI Comprehensive-Designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, is evaluating the efficacy of axalimogene filolisbac as neoadjuvant treatment prior to robot-assisted surgery in patients with HPV-associated head and neck cancer. The poster will present data on the effect of axalimogene filolisbac in targeting and inducing a T-cell response in the tumor microenvironment. The study received a three-year $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Orphan Products Development, which funds research for the development of products for rare diseases.
“Our research into the potential of AXAL in targeting HPV-related cancers continues to make remarkable progress. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share these results with the cancer research community at AACR,” said Daniel J. O’Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis.
This year’s meeting will focus on “Delivering Cures through Cancer Science,” and will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana April 16-20 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Once confirmed, the time and date of the Advaxis poster presentation will be available on Advaxis.com.
HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancers
More than 90 percent of head and neck squamous cell oropharyngeal cancers originate from the mucosal linings of the oral cavity, pharynx, or larynx. Currently, 60 to 80 percent of these cancers are caused by HPV. Head and neck cancers are treated by surgical removal of the cancer and lymph nodes, often followed by radiation and chemotherapy based on the extent of the disease. While patients may achieve good long-term survival, standard treatments can change their physical appearance and are associated with significant short and long-term toxicities which may interfere with salivary gland function, taste, smell, and the ability to swallow.
The incidence of HPV-associated head and neck cancers has been increasing at an epidemic rate, while head and neck cancers from other causes have been decreasing. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15 to 20 percent of the 400,000 new cases of head and neck cancer are HPV-related. In the US, there are about 12,000 new cases of HPV-associated head and neck cancer per year and it affects men about 3 times more frequently than women. HPV-associated head and neck cancer is growing fastest in developed countries like the U.S.
About Axalimogene Filolisbac
Axalimogene filolisbac (ADXS-HPV) is Advaxis' lead Lm Technology™ immunotherapy candidate for the treatment of HPV-associated cancers and is in clinical trials for three potential indications: invasive cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, and anal cancer. In a completed randomized Phase 2 study in recurrent/refractory cervical cancer, axalimogene filolisbac showed apparent prolonged survival, objective tumor responses, and a manageable safety profile alone or in combination with chemotherapy, supporting further development of the company’s Lm Technology™. Axalimogene filolisbac has Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. for the treatment of anal cancer.
About Advaxis, Inc.
Located in Princeton, N.J., Advaxis, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing multiple cancer immunotherapies based on its proprietary Lm Technology™. The Lm Technology™, using bioengineered live attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) bacteria, is the only known cancer immunotherapy agent shown in preclinical studies to both generate cancer fighting T-cells directed against a cancer antigen and neutralize Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that protect the tumor microenvironment from immunologic attack and contribute to tumor growth. Advaxis' lead Lm Technology™ immunotherapy, axalimogene filolisbac, targets human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers and is in clinical trials for three potential indications: Phase 2 in invasive cervical cancer, Phase 1/2 in head and neck cancer, and Phase 1/2 in anal cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted axalimogene filolisbac orphan drug designation for each of these three clinical settings. Advaxis has two additional immunotherapy products: ADXS-PSA in prostate cancer and ADXS-HER2 in HER2 expressing solid tumors, in human clinical development.
This media statement contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: statements regarding Advaxis’ ability to develop the next generation of cancer immunotherapies; and the safety and efficacy of Advaxis’ proprietary immunotherapies. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, including the risk factors set forth from time to time in Advaxis’ SEC filings, including but not limited to its report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2015, which is available at http://www.sec.gov. Advaxis undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revision to these forward-looking statements, which may be made to reflect the events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements.