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Targovax receives approval in Australia to conduct a clinical trial with TG02 - an immunotheraphy treatment targeting RAS mutations

OSLO, Norway, June 2, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Targovax receives approval to conduct a study with TG02 and pembrolizumab, a checkpoint inhibitor, in patients with locally recurrent RAS mutated rectal cancer.

TGO2 is a cancer vaccine containing a mixture of 8 synthetic peptides representing fragments of the most common RAS mutations seen in colorectal cancer disease.

Mutations in RAS, a protein regulating cell growth, is seen in about 50% of patients with colorectal cancer and 20-30% of all cancers. It is associated with a lack of response to chemotherapy and poor prognosis. Previous and ongoing clinical studies have shown that TG peptides are able to induce RAS mutation specific immune responses. Targovax is the only research organization with RAS mutated specific vaccines at clinical development stage. This will be the first study with TG02 in humans and 20 patients will be included at Australian sites.

The study will assess safety and immune activation, both at lesional level and in peripheral blood. One cohort will only receive TG02 and another cohort will receive TG02 in combination with pembrolizumab, a PD-1 receptor inhibitor.

"We have already shown in other indications that TG peptides can induce specific immune responses and that these are associated with clinical benefits. However, this study will take us one step further in assessing immune activation at tumor level. It will also give us an indication on how our immune therapy may be enhanced when combining with a check point inhibitor" says Magnus Jaderberg, CMO at Targovax.

For further information, please contact:

Gunnar Gårdemyr, CEO Phone: +46 73 083 77 79 Email: ggardemyr@targovax.com

Øystein Soug, CFO Phone: +47 906 56 525 Email: oystein.soug@targovax.com

Arming the patient's immune system to fight cancer

Targovax is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing targeted immunotherapy treatments for cancer patients. Targovax has a broad and diversified immune therapy portfolio and aims to become a world leader in its area. The company is currently developing two complementary and highly targeted approaches in immuno-oncology.

ONCOS - 102 is a virus-based immunotherapy platform based on engineered oncolytic viruses armed with potent immune-stimulating transgenes targeting solid tumors. This treatment is designed to reactivate the immune system's capacity to recognize and attack cancer cells.

TG01 and TG02 are part of a peptide-based immunotherapy platform targeting the difficult to treat RAS mutations found in more than 85% of pancreatic cancers, 50% of colorectal cancer and 20-30% of all cancers. Targovax is working towards demonstrating that TG vaccines will prolong time to cancer progression and increase survival.

These product candidates will be developed in combination with multiple treatments, including checkpoint inhibitors in several cancer indications. Targovax also has a number of other cancer immune therapy candidates in the early stages of development.

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Source: Targovax ASA