Two Leading Biotech Publications Report on Advaxis’ Listeria Platform Technology
NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Advaxis, Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel Listeria-based therapeutic cancer vaccines, has been profiled in both Genetic Engineering News and R&D Directions, two leading biotech publications. The publications highlighted Advaxis’ Listeria platform technology and their advancement in building a family of cancer vaccines based on exploiting the powerful immune response and antigen-carrying capabilities of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
The profile in the March 2007 issue of Genetic Engineering News, noted how bacterium-based stimulation of the immune system could hold the key to combating various types of cancers. The article detailed how the Company co-opts the immune mechanisms normally enlisted against the Listeria pathogen, and redirects them against various cancers by engineering cancer-specific antigens into Listeria. The article further explained how Advaxis has improved upon this panel of immune responses through the use of an antigen fusion protein based on the Listeria enzyme listeriolysin O (LLO). When the APC ingests a foreign Listeria and tries to kill it, ingested Listeria secretes this enzyme, which opens a hole in the wall of the digestive vacuole and allows the bacterium to escape into the cytoplasm.
“Listeria induces a strong, cell-mediated immune response that results from its unusual life cycle and is particularly suited to killing cancer cells,” says John Rothman, Ph.D., VP of Clinical Development in the article. The bacterium preferentially infects antigen-presenting cells (APC), which activate the immune system and present specific antigens for the immune system to attack.
In the February 2007 issue of R&D Directions, Dr. Rothman was inaugurated as one of 20 Notable People in Research & Development. The article, penned by Lyle Fitzsimmons, profiled several leaders whose contributions have resulted in new areas of drug development for the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Rothman’s distinguished biotech career, from infectious diseases to cancer, was noted in the article. The article also described how Advaxis has expanded the Listeria-antigen idea into nine development-stage vaccines for treating cervical cancer, breast, ovarian, prostate, lung, pancreatic, and skin cancers.
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