Immunovaccine`s Patented DepoVax Technology

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Video title: Immunovaccine`s Patented DepoVax Technology
Released on: December 01, 2010. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks to Vicki L. Morgan MBA, Director of Business Development, ImmunoVaccine Inc. They discuss:

• Origins of Immunovaccine

• Depovax Technology of Immunovaccine

• Partnership Strategy of Immunovaccine in terms of developing product

• Deal with Merck

• The Depovax challenge program

• Future plans
Origins of Immunovaccine
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at BioPharm America in Boston. On this show I have Vicki L. Morgan , who is Business Development Director at a company called Immunovaccine Inc based in Halifax, Canada, welcome to the show.
Vicki L. Morgan:
Thank you for having me.
Fintan Walton:
Vicki , tell us a little bit about the origins of Immunovaccine Inc ?
Vicki L. Morgan:
Immunovaccine came out of Dalhousie University in the Halifax area back in 2000 we originally started as an animal health company, but today we develop premium vaccinesfor human health and specifically the areas of therapeuticcancer and infectious diseases.
Depovax Technology of Immunovaccine
Fintan Walton:
Okay, now obviously there is an underlying technology, tell us what that underlying technology is?
Vicki L. Morgan:
We have our patented vaccine delivery platform the DepoVax technology, the DepoVax technology is able to enhance the speed and the strength of the immune response in a wide variety of types of vaccines.
Fintan Walton:
Right, so the advantage is not so much in delivery or is it in the how the body actually responds to DepoVax technology?
Vicki L. Morgan:
DepoVax is really a breakthrough in human vaccine technology, the DepoVax platform is a superior platform because of it's unique combination of disease specific antigens with adjuvants formulated in liposomes and then in oil to create a depot effect, this depot effect gives us a prolonged presentation to the immune system resulting in a very fast, strong and long lasting immune response both humoral and cellular in just a single dose.
Partnership Strategy of Immunovaccine in terms of developing product
Fintan Walton:
Right, now when you a company like Immunovaccine you've got this technology which sounds very interesting and obviously exciting you need antigens, now you can either generate those antigens yourselves or you go into some sort of partnership with other companies, so what is the strategy for Immunovaccine in terms of developing products?
Vicki L. Morgan:
We have several products in our pipeline, the most advanced product is DPX-O9O7 this product is in Phase I clinical trials right now for breast, prostate and ovarian cancer. It was initiated back in April of 2010 and it's in multiple sites and the safety studies here in the US where the vaccine is a combination of seven proprietary antigens that we did in-license and these seven antigens were chosen specifically because they target multiple cancer pathways. The study is progressing very well, we are very excited about the outcome and we look forward to receiving the results probably in the second quarter of next year.
Deal with Merck
Fintan Walton:
Okay, that's a fascinating approach, because obviously it's got multiple antigens in there with a multiple approach to where it trying to resolve a number of different cancer in a broad way. So that's one example, you've also just recently signed an agreement with Merck in Germany in-licensing one of their products [PharmaDeals ID = 36690], could you tell us a little bit about that?
Vicki L. Morgan:
This is the first major licensing agreement with a global pharmaceutical company in the human health area for Immunovaccine , it's really an ideal marriage between a very promising cancer antigen optimized by Merck KGaA formulated with a superior delivery platform in DepoVax that combination really has tremendous potential to become a successful cancertherapeutic.
The Depovax challenge program
Fintan Walton:
Right, so again we are getting a feel for the strategy of Immunovaccine , you also have your DepoVax challenge which is a program that allows you to access even more antigens, could you tell us little bit about that program?
Vicki L. Morgan:
Sure, I am finding as in business development that a lot of companies are interested in our DepoVax challenge. The DepoVax challenge is where the companies sends their vaccine antigen to us we formulate it in DepoVax and we are confident that the DepoVax platform will generate a much stronger immune response both cellular and humoral than the companies been able to achieve on their own.
Fintan Walton:
So basically it's an open invitation to any company that developing a vaccine and say look give DepoVax a trial?
Vicki L. Morgan:
Fintan Walton:
And just see what the result is and you tell us you know whether you want to take a license or not?
Vicki L. Morgan:
Yes, and that is a big goal for us this week is identifying other companies that want to work with us in this capacity.
Future plans
Fintan Walton:
So with Immunovaccine clearly it's a company that's growing, it is a company that's already floated on the stock exchange in Toronto?
Vicki L. Morgan:
We are a public company that we went public in October of 2009 trading under the ticker symbol IMV.
Fintan Walton:
Right, so clearly a publically funded company or publically quoted company I should point out looking to grow interesting times so what can we expect from Immunovaccine over the next few years?
Vicki L. Morgan:
It is a very exciting time for the company and for the industry as a whole. The vaccine industry is really one of the fastest growing segments within pharmaceuticals today and with the advances in technology researchers today are able to genetically engineer vaccines for a wide variety of diseases. In the next 5 to 15-years we'll be able to take those vaccine formulas and put them in advanced delivery systems like DepoVax this could fundamentally change the way clinicians treat and prevent diseases. So for Immunovaccine it's a busy time, it's an exciting time, our researchers are working very hard on our two clinical stage programs and we are looking forward to several announcements in the next 12 months, one being the results from our Phase I clinical trial as well as some additional research agreements with partners.
Fintan Walton:
Vicki L. Morgan , thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Vicki L. Morgan:
It's been a pleasure.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Vicki L Morgan
Vicki L. Morgan is currently Director, Business Development at Immunovaccine Inc based in Halifax, Canada. Vicki L. Morgan has more than 15 years leading business development and partnership initiatives across various sized companies ranging from start-up biotechnology to Fortune 200. She joined New Perspectives Inc to focus on new company formation; specifically providing leadership, business strategy, business development and licensing expertise to emerging companies involved in the life sciences. Additionally, New Perspectives Inc works with current biotechnology and medical device companies to support business development & licensing activities and strategic collaborations with scientists and inventors from Universities and private Technology Centers. Most recently she held a position with Nektar Therapeutics as Director of Business Development responsible for licensing activities of Nektar Therapeutics's proprietary products in gastroenterology, pain and oncology therapeutics. Prior to Nektar Therapeutics, Vicki worked with Kimberly-Clark Corporation in the Global Alliances and Technology Acquisition group leading and managing strategic partnerships and alliances across all sectors of Kimberly-Clark Corporation including Health Care, Consumer Products, Professional Products and Innovation and Emerging Growth divisions. In 2000, Vicki joined Nobex Corporation, a drug delivery company focused in the application of medicinal and polymer chemistry to the challenges of drug delivery, to lead the marketing and business development activities. Vicki L. Morgan 's entrepreneurial experience started early in her career as she spent several years directing business development, sales and marketing efforts in a nutrition and wellness-focused company she co-founded, Worldwide Zone. She began her career with Alsace International, a regional government development group in Strasbourg, France promoting biotechnology industry collaborations in North America. Vicki L. Morgan is a member of the Licensing Executives Society and served on the Advisory Board of Envion International. Vicki L. Morgan 's Specialties: A Business Development and Marketing professional with more than 15 years of success initiating and building productive collaborations and partnerships with biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and consumer health care companies. Specialized in establishing and executing partnering strategy, term sheet development, contract negotiation, and coordinating teams for due diligence. She had done her graduation from Miami University.
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
Immunovaccine Inc
Immunovaccine Inc (TSX-V: IMV) is focused on the commercialization of its patented vaccine delivery and enhancement technology, the DepoVax platform that boasts such benefits as enhanced efficacy with fewer doses. Positive pre-clinical safety and efficacy data generated by the DepoVax platform has attracted multiple partnerships. Immunovaccine Inc has also signed four licensing deals with Pfizer Animal Health and generated early revenues as a result. The Company's focus on developing human health vaccines has led to the in-licensing of Survivac from Merck KGaA. Survivac is a novel cancervaccine which targets multiple Survivin-expressing solid tumors. Immunovaccine Inc has exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the Survivin-based vaccineand plans to formulate it in the DepoVax delivery platform. Taking the DPX-Survivac into an accelerated clinical program is a priority for the Company because of its broad market potential and its potential utility in several cancer indications. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has ranked Survivin among the world's top 25 most promising antigens. Immunovaccine Inc 's aggressive growth strategy is led by an experienced management and board, consisting of former senior executives of Sanofi and a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. The Company is currently midway through a phase I clinical trial for DPX-0907, a therapeuticvaccine based on the DepoVax technology. Through its own biotech research and collaborations with partners, Immunovaccine Inc has been honoured as one of Canada's Top 10 Life Sciences Companies. Today, the company is advancing DepoVax based vaccines in a variety of indications that range from cancer to autoimmune disease through its own pipeline and a number of strategic collaborations and alliances around the world.