Neovacs to Give Update on Potential Lupus Vaccine, Now in Phase 2 Trial, at Conference

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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Neovacs will present an update on the company’s interferon alpha (IFNα) Kinoid vaccine program for lupus, dermatomyositis and type 1 diabetes at the upcoming 2017 Keystone Symposia Conference taking place in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Géraldine Grouard-Vogel, PhD, the company’s chief scientific officer, is set to give the  presentation — “Overexpression of IFNalpha and Derived Diseases: Innovative Approach with a Therapeutic Vaccine IFNalpha Kinoid” — on Thursday, March 23,  in the session titled “Tailoring Type I IFN Interventions to Achieve Cure.”

For its 45th year, the conference set as its theme “Type I Interferon: Friend and Foe Alike.” Sessions begin on March 19 and the conference concludes March 23.

Neovacs’ Kinoid technology targets pathologies related to an overproduction of endogenous cytokines, such as lupus. Cytokines are small mediators released by specific immune cell subsets that play key roles in moderating immune responses.

The overproduction of cytokines, such as interferon alpha, promotes inflammation and dysregulation of the immune system. The vaccine’s use is showing promise in early clinical trials of producing self-antibodies able to neutralize all 13 sub-types of IFNα in the serum of lupus patients.

“This presentation confirms a reduction of IFN alpha signature in Lupus patients following IFNα Kinoid administration. Our Phase IIb trial with IFNα Kinoid in Lupus continues to progress, and we are extremely excited about the potential of IFNα Kinoid to become a first-in-class product to treat lupus and other autoimmune diseases,” Miguel Sieler, Neovacs’ chief executive officer, said in a press release.

That Phase 2 trial (NCT02665364) is designed to test the clinical efficacy of IFNα Kinoid treatment and confirm its safety and immunogenicity, with a primary measure being the change from study start in the expression of IFN-induced genes. The trial, taking place in Europe, is recruiting lupus patients; more information is available here.

That same session also has planned presentations by Gary P. Sims with MedImmune, and John J. O’Shea with NIAMS at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These presentations are titled “Novel Pathogenic Role for IgE in SLE, and Pharmacological Blockade of Type I IFN Receptor in Patients” by Sims, and “Targeting Type I IFN Signaling Pathways” by O’Shea.

In related news, Neovacs’ recently announced that China has issued a patent for its IFNα vaccine to treat diseases, like lupus, characterized by overexpression of the cytokine IFNα. The patent gives the company marketing protection until at least 2032.