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MERAVAX, a DNA vaccine to increse the antitumor immune response

Cancer vaccineHuman careImmunotherapyMelanomaPet care

Introduction

Malignant melanoma (MM) is a frequent and still fatal disease because of recurrences and metastasis, for which standard treatments are not effective. Checkpoint inhibitors have increased survival but only in the limited number of patients that develop an immune response against the tumor.

Technical features

A cancer vaccine (HuDo-CSPG4 vaccine) to increase the anti-tumor immune response in the huge percentage of (human and canine) patients affected by tumors that express the chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4). Our vaccine is a hybrid DNA derived in part from the human (Hu) and in part from the dog (Do)-CSPG4 sequences. This hybrid structure guarantees a strong immunogenicity and allows to take advantage of the highly translational canine MM model. Since, CSPG4 is overexpressed in a large variety of human and canine tumor histotypes other than MM, the application of this vaccine could be extended for the treatment of the massive number of CSPG4-positive human and canine cancer patients.

Possible Applications

  • Adjuvant treatment of canine MM patients;
  • Adjuvant treatment of human MM patients;
  • Adjuvant treatment of other CSPG4-positive tumors.

Advantages

  • Safe, effective, and long lasting effect;
  • Cheap, easy to handle;
  • Can be associated to standard of care and checkpoint inhibitors;
  • No equivalent products in Europe.