LEXINGTON, Mass., April 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Agenus Inc. (Nasdaq:AGEN) reported today that Orin Bloch, MD, Clinical Instructor, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), will present an abstract that reports on outcomes with HSPPC-96 vaccination in patients with newly diagnosed glioma at the 81st American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 27-May 1, 2013. Dr. Bloch's presentation will be given during Plenary Session III of the AANS meeting on May 1, 2013 at 10:19 am ET.
Dr. Bloch is a lead medical scientist working on the study at UCSF. Dr. Parsa, MD, Ph.D., who is currently at UCSF and will soon join Northwestern University as the newly appointed Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, is the lead clinical investigator for Prophage Series G-100 and G-200 in newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma, respectively.
HSP Platform: The Prophage Series Cancer Vaccines
The Prophage Series of vaccines are patient-specific therapeutic cancer vaccine candidates. They contain heat shock protein gp96 and associated peptides that are purified from patient tumor tissue. Prophage Series vaccines are designed to target only cancerous cells, not healthy normal cells, and limit the toxicities associated with traditional broad-acting cancer treatments.
Prophage Series G-100 and G-200 are being studied in two different settings of glioma: newly diagnosed and recurrent disease. Glioma is the deadliest form of brain cancer with an average survival of six to 14 months.
Promising results from an earlier Phase 2 trial in patients with recurrent glioma treated with Prophage Series G-200 were presented at the 2012 AANS Annual Meeting. In the 2012 AANS presentation, over 40 patients were treated and the population evaluated for efficacy had a median Karnofsky performance status (KPS) of 80 and median age of 53. Patients treated with G-200 lived significantly longer than 86 consecutive patients not enrolled in the G-200 clinical trial, but treated with alternative therapies during the study period.
The control patients had equivalent criteria; >90 percent resection of recurrent GBM and had a KPS>70. The median overall survival for these patients was only 32.8 weeks with a six-month survival of 68 percent compared to a median survival of 47.6 weeks and 93 percent 6 month survival rate for the vaccine treated group (p<0.01). The vaccine was well tolerated, with no related grade 3 or grade 4 toxicities.
The available survival data indicate that the G-200 vaccine may help patients live longer, which would suggest a clinical benefit. In addition, the researchers noted that G-200 results are superior to similar surgical populations identified in the literature.
This trial is sponsored by Dr. Andrew Parsa and primarily supported through funding from the American Brain Tumor Association, Accelerated Brain Cancer Cure, National Brain Tumor Society, and National Cancer Institute Special Programs of Research Excellence. Drs. Parsa and Bloch have not received any financial support or travel expense reimbursement for this work or for consulting activities on behalf of Agenus. Drs. Parsa and Bloch do not have an equity interest in Agenus or a financial relationship with the company.
Agenus Inc. is a biotechnology company working to develop treatments for cancers and infectious diseases. The company is focused on immunotherapeutic products based on strong platform technologies with multiple product candidates advancing through the clinic, including several product candidates that have advanced into late-stage clinical trials through corporate partners. Between Agenus and its partners, 19 programs are in clinical development. For more information, please visit www.agenusbio.com.
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