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UbiVac, BMS Collaborate on Immunotherapy Clinical Trial for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

NEW YORK – Clinical state immunotherapy company UbiVac said on Tuesday that it is collaborating with Bristol Myers Squibb on a clinical trial evaluating the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of a cancer vaccine with a T cell agonist and a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor.

The Phase IB trial will test whether UbiVac's investigational cancer vaccine DPV-001 combined with BMS' T cell agonist BMS-986178 and nivolumab (Opdivo) can stimulate anti-cancer immunity in advanced triple-negative breast cancer patients.

DPV-001 consists of microvesicles that target dendritic cells that contain proteins similar to those found on the surface of cancer cells. The microvesicle vaccine also contains more than 100 proteins that are overexpressed by the average TNBC patient and as many as 1,700 altered peptide ligands that can augment immunity against cancer antigens.

The vaccine formulation is intended to activate B cells, CD4 and CD8 T cells, as well as innate components of the patient's immune system to eliminate cancer cells.

In preclinical models, the vaccine converted tumors that are considered "cold" because they lack immune cell infiltration, to "hot" tumors that are inflamed and detectable by the immune system. This conversion allows cancers to be more responsive to immunotherapy.

"Based on these data we believe UbiVac's … vaccine technology combined with anti-OX40 will light a fire in the immune system of patients with cold tumors, turning them into hot tumors that will be more responsive to checkpoint blockade," UbiVac CSO Hong-Ming Hu said in a statement.