TORONTO, ON and REHOVOT, ISRAEL--(Marketwired - October 20, 2016) - VAXIL BIO LTD. (TSX VENTURE: VXL), is pleased to announce a collaboration with Hadassah Medical Center, one of Israel's leading medical institutions. The Vaxil-Hadassah collaboration, signed by Vaxil's research and development (R&D) arm known as Vaxil BioTherapeutics Israel, is intended to enhance R&D for the Company's immunotherapy platform including its lead product, Orphan Drug Designated Immucin™. The collaboration will include clinical samples obtained from cancer patients and healthy volunteers at Hadassah, which will be utilized and analyzed in conjunction with Vaxil's immune therapies and potential combination treatments currently under consideration.
Vaxil has already embarked on its prior announced R&D program, investigating potential combination therapies including checkpoint inhibitors, and hopes to report further on results in the near future. The Company believes Immucin™ has potential to be a very strong immunotherapy, whether as a standalone treatment or possibly in combination with other products. The Vaxil-Hadassah Collaboration will serve to support these strategies. At Hadassah, Professor Michael Shapira will spearhead the collaboration.
Professor Dr. Shapira commented: "I am a strong believer in Vaxil's immunotherapy platform. I have spent years following Immucin's progress, and have been fortunate to witness the promising potential both in cancer patients and in the lab. Hadassah is excited to be embarking on this collaboration and partnering with Vaxil's scientific team." Vaxil believes that this partnership has potential to substantially advance its lead product, Orphan Drug Designated Immucin™ through investigating it's mode of action and in turn, optimal design for its next clinical trial. The Vaxil and Hadassah scientists will further examine the nature of immune response to its immunotherapy in hematological patients, specifically those that are in remission from multiple myeloma and leukemia. Investigations and analysis will take place primarily at Vaxil's lab utilizing the Company's fluorescence activated cell sorting machine and other facilities. Importantly, results could serve to optimize the treatment protocol with Immucin™ in the patient populations of choice for the larger Phase-II trial, which is planned for launch in 2017.
Top Hadassah Clinician Scientist Joins Vaxil's Scientific Advisory Board
In addition to the Vaxil-Hadassah Collaboration, top Hadassah scientist Professor Michael Shapira will be joining the Vaxil Scientific Advisory Board.
Prof. Dr. Shapira possesses in-depth knowledge of Vaxil's immunotherapy, having led the Company's Phase-I/II clinical trial which demonstrated the safety of Immucin™ and established its potential to elicit a specific cellular and humoral response against MUC1-SP in a novel manner. MUC1 is a highly prominent cancer target present on 90% of all human cancers yet has remained elusive in terms of optimal treatment protocol and target population. Vaxil believes its immunotherapy platform targets cancer antigens through a more effective path. Most promisingly, over 70% of the cancer patients who participated in Vaxil's Phase-I/II exhibited a stable disease, including a majority of whom exhibited a durable response.
Prof. Dr. Shapira is a leading clinician scientist who has been published well over 100 peer-reviewed articles and other scientific and clinical studies. At Hadassah, Professor Shapira was the first to develop therapeutic stem cell transplantation for elderly patients, a breakthrough for a patient population typically more difficult to transplant given their age. For his performance as a researcher and teacher, Prof. Shapira received several prizes of excellence. Professor Shapira served in the Israeli Defense Forces before attending the Hebrew University School of Medicine.
Senior Management Changes
Furthermore, Vaxil is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Gadi Levin as interim CEO and as a Director of the Board. Mr. Levin has a strong financial background combined with a successful track record in the biotech field. Previously, Mr. Levin was the Chief Financial Officer of Labstyle Innovations Ltd., a biotech focused on diabetes, and was subsequently appointed Chief Financial Officer of California-based immunotherapy company BriaCell Therapeutics. Mr. Levin previously served as the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for a large Israeli hedge fund. He is a Chartered Accountant with years of experience at Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young. Mr. Levin holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Information Systems) from the University of Cape Town, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Auditing), Honors, from the University of South Africa. In that regard, Vaxil wishes to thank Dr. Benjamin Chen, who has resigned as CEO effective immediately. Dr. Chen will remain on the Vaxil Board of Directors where his focus will primarily pertain to scientific and strategic guidance.
Vaxil is a cutting edge Israeli immuno-oncology biotech with its R&D based in the Weizmann Science Park and listed on the TSX-V. Vaxil specializes in the development of immunotherapy products for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases by activating the patient's immune system. Vaxil immunotherapy products are based on the proprietary VaxHit™ platform.
The first product developed through VaxHit™ is known as ImMucin™,a clinical staged immunotherapy which was awarded Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA and EMA. It has already completed a successful Phase-I/II and will now be positioned toward a larger Phase-II.
Recently, Vaxil utilized VaxHit™ in order to develop a antibody platform which includes the first-ever signal peptide specific antibodies. Vaxil believes its recombinant antibodies, including both SPmAb2™ and SPmAb6™, have potential to assist in diagnosing and potentially treating cancer.
Link to a film about the company's technology:
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