- Multiple important steps have contributed to the advancement of the BriaCell clinical program in 2018
- The company has gotten excellent results from its Bria-IMT clinical trials and hopes to begin Bria-OTS testing in 2019
- The personalized, off-the-shelf advanced breast cancer treatment will be much more cost-effective to manufacture than alternatives and is expected to produce fewer side effects
Throughout 2018, BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. (OTCQB: BCTXF) (TSX.V: BCT) has been working hard on the advancement of its clinical program. The company attained crucial safety and efficacy data via its clinical trials, and it also achieved proof of concept. The phase I/IIa study of its proof of concept clinical trial in advanced breast cancer achieved sustained tumor shrinkage at various sites in several patients. These results confirm the data collected through two previous trials, demonstrating the promising effect of the company’s Bria-IMT therapy in the treatment of advanced, metastatic breast cancer.
At the beginning of November 2018, BriaCell CEO Dr. William Williams said in an interview with Stock Day’s Everett Jolly that the company is developing the first personalized, off-the-shelf immunotherapy for advanced breast cancer (http://ibn.fm/9SMfU). The key developments are focused in two fields and programs – Bria-IMT and Bria-OTS.
Bria-IMT has undergone extensive clinical testing, demonstrating tumor shrinkage in patients with advanced breast cancer. Currently, Bria-IMT is in Phase IIa clinical testing in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK). Bria-IMT stimulates T-cell activity – one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms. In combination with KEYTRUDA, Bria-IMT is expected to accomplish an amplification effect to strengthen the anti-tumor activity of the treatment.
Bria-OTS is still in the process of development. Work is based on the results obtained in the Bria-IMT clinical trials. BriaCell Therapeutics plans to genetically engineer immunotherapy cell lines that can induce a specific response against cancer. The cell lines are pre-manufactured, but the personalized treatment can be selected and administered to the patient based on his or her specific HLA alleles. In this way, the immune response is tailored to the individual patient, so the treatment should not have a negative impact on the overall functioning of the immune system, Dr. Williams said.
The creation of tailored off-the-shelf immunotherapy solutions will eventually cover 90 percent of the population. Bria-OTS does not necessitate a personalized manufacturing process, which keeps the cost and the production time down, Dr. Williams added. Bria-OTS is anticipated to initiate clinical trials in 2019.
By 2021, immunotherapy solutions that target cancer are expected to turn into a $100 billion industry. Through previous research, clinicians have been capable of delivering personalized treatments for cancer that can address the specific condition of an individual patient. These treatments, however, have been costly to produce (due to individual manufacturing), and they’ve been associated with specific side effects. The BriaCell approach should be less costly and have fewer side effects than currently approved personalized immunotherapies.
Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring form of malignancy in women and the second most common overall cancer. In the U.S. alone, 12.3 percent of women will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer in their lifetime (http://ibn.fm/QaUGj).
The development of innovative therapies has increased the survival rate of breast cancer patients. The five-year survival rate has gone up from 74.8 percent in 1975 to 90.7 percent in 2011 for patients diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite this, over 40,000 women will die of breast cancer in the United States in 2018, indicating a very large unmet need.
BriaCell Therapeutics is based in Berkeley, and its headquarters are located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company specializes in clinical-stage biotechnology and targeted immunotherapy for advanced breast cancer.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.BriaCell.com
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