HEIDELBERG, GERMANY and BUDAPEST, HUNGARY--(Marketwire - Oct 12, 2012) - Genetic Immunity (OTCBB: PWRV), a leader in immunotherapy technology product development, and DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany) signed a collaborative agreement to develop a DNA-based vaccine for the treatment of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection that causes cervical cancer and other cancers of the anus, penis, vulva, vagina, and oropharynx. Present HPV vaccines (Cervarix, Gardasil) have no therapeutic effect on HPV-related diseases, so they will not treat existing diseases or conditions caused by HPV.
The Division of Genome Modifications and Carcinogenesis led by Prof. Dr. Lutz Gissmann will initiate a preclinical research program to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of the DKFZ's HPV-specific plasmid DNA using Genetic Immunity's nanomedicine formulation and Langerhans cell-targeting administration technologies. DKFZ is a world leading research center in tumor virology. Harald zur Hausen was awarded the Nobel Medicine Prize for his work on HPV-caused cancer of the cervix. Zur Hausen, former Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center, is recognized for finding that cervical cancer is caused by viral infections. His research made it possible to develop a vaccine against one of the most frequent cancers in women. Zur Hausen shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier for discovering HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
"There is a huge unmet medical need for such cancer vaccine, because vaccines we have developed earlier do not provide protection against cancer when used for treatment of existing conditions caused by HPV. Our goal is to provide protection against cancer for patients after the onset of sexual activity, after they might be exposed to HPV," said Dr. Julianna Lisziewicz, CEO of Genetic Immunity.
Genetic Immunity has successfully tested in clinical trials DermaVir, a candidate immunotherapy for the cure of HIV. This new collaboration is using the clinically proven technology expanding the pipeline to another deadly viral disease that causes cancer. The partners will test whether HPV-specific memory T cells induced by Genetic Immunity's nanomedicine products could protect against cancer after infection has occurred.
"We found that Genetic Immunity technology is unique to target the vaccine DNA into the nucleus of the Langerhans cells. We believe that it will provide a breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy. We pioneered HPV prophylactic vaccines with new innovations and we would like to expand this tradition to therapeutic setting," said Dr. Prof. Gissmann of DKFZ.
Genetic Immunity is a wholly owned subsidiary of Power of the Dream Ventures, Inc. (OTCBB: PWRV).
About Genetic Immunity
Genetic Immunity, part of Power of the Dream Ventures, Inc. (PWRV), is a clinical stage technology company committed to discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing a new class of immunotherapeutic biologic drugs for the treatment of viral infections, cancer and allergies. Our Langerhans cell-targeting nanomedicines are exceptional in both safety and immune modulating activity boosting specific Th1-type central memory T cells. These are essential to eliminate infected cells or cancerous cells, and balance the immune reactivity in response to allergens.
In 1988 Drs. Lisziewicz and Lori founded Genetic Immunity in the US after they described the 1st patient whose immune system was boosted to control HIV after treatment interruption (Lisziewicz et al. New England Journal of Medicine 1999) that lead to the invention of DermaVir. The Company's innovative technology team directed by Dr. Lisziewicz, a champion of immune boosting therapies, is now headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. She has been invited into the Scientific Advisory Board of the HIV Cure Initiative led by Francoise Barre-Sinoussi Nobel Prize Laureate for her HIV research in 2009. For more information please visit http://www.geneticimmunity.com
The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 2,500 employees is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany. At DKFZ, more than 1,000 scientists investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and endeavor to find new strategies to prevent people from getting cancer. They develop novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful. Jointly with Heidelberg University Hospital, DKFZ has established the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg where promising approaches from cancer research are translated into the clinic. The staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) offers information about the widespread disease of cancer for patients, their families, and the general public. The center is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers. Ninety percent of its funding comes from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the remaining ten percent from the State of Baden-Württemberg.