DoD Awards $11M for Phase 2 Trial of TPIV110 Breast Cancer Therapy

DoD Awards $11M for Phase 2 Trial of TPIV110 Breast Cancer Therapy
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Mayo Clinic researchers $11 million to conduct a Phase 2 trial investigating the TPIV110 vaccine, in combination with Herceptin (trastuzumab), as a therapy for women with HER2-positive breast cancer. The grant was awarded to Keith L. Knutson, PhD, professor of Immunology in the Department of Immunology, and Saranya Chumsri, MD, from the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Approximately 1 in 5 patients with breast cancer are positive for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). HER2-positive is a term used to describe an aggressive type of breast cancer that expresses high levels of this cell-surface protein, leading to increased tumor growth and potential to spread. Marker Therapeutics (which merged with TapImmune in May 2018), developed its investigational vaccine, TPIV110, to target this protein in HER2-positive cancers. The vaccine consists of five selected HER2 fragments (antigens) that induce the strongest immune response against cells producing this protein. Herceptin is a monoclonal antibody targeting HER2, blocking the signals that the protein provides for cancer cell growth and flagging cells for destruction by the immune system. While Herceptin is already approved for several breast cancer indications, the therapy only covers 15-20% of HER2-positive breast cancers. TPIV110, however, is thought to cover 90% of these cancers and is expected to
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