Imugene is an Australian biopharmaceutical company developing HER-2+ gastric and breast cancer immunotherapies.
Specifically, the Company’s lead product is the HER-2+ cancer immunotherapy HER-Vaxx, which has now entered a Phase Ib/II clinical trial for gastric cancer.
HER-Vaxx is a HER-2+ cancer immunotherapy that mobilizes a polyclonal antibody response against the tumour receptor HER-2. The HER-2 receptor is expressed on the surface of tumours including gastric, breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. This is the same receptor targeted by the monoclonal antibody Herceptin®, which has been successfully marketed for several years in the treatment of cancers expressing this receptor.
HER-Vaxx, since it mobilises the innate immune system of the patient, is expected to exert a more effective and more durable anti-tumour response than Herceptin® at an anticipated lower cost.
HER-Vaxx has already completed a Phase I trial in breast cancer where it was shown to be safe and tolerable and gave strong indications of immunogenicity. A Phase II trial in gastric cancer is now in preparation.
Imugene has an option on a specific Mimotope technology, using peptide mimics of conformational epitopes that are commonly recognized by an antibody with antitumor activity, for use in cancer vaccines. These are currently in early research stages.
Imugene acquired HER-Vaxx and the Mimotope technology through the acquisition of Biolife Science Qld Limited in late 2013.
Much of HER-Vaxx’s early research was conducted in Europe and the scientific team is located in Austria while the corporate headquarters are located in Melbourne, Australia.