Quantum Immunologics - Quantum Immunologics - Quality of Life for Cancer Patients
Quantum Immunologics is a privately held company that is dedicated to improving the treatment outcome and quality of life for cancer patients through the research, development, and commercialization of innovative, cost-effective therapeutic and diagnostic products. Quantum Immunologics’s scientific approach links the immunogenic and invasive properties of malignant cancers with a specific protein known as Oncofetal Antigen/Immature Laminin Receptor Protein (OFA/iLRP) that is uniquely expressed on cancer cells, but not found on normal cells outside of early fetal development.
Quantum Immunologics’ approach to cancer immunotherapy involves sensitizing the dendritic cells from a patient's own blood to recognize and direct the body's immune system to attack breast cancer sites in a targeted effort to eradicate or stabilize the disease. This approach does not involve breast surgery (e.g. complete or partial removal of breast tissue), chemotherapy, or radiation - with the goal of eliciting a targeted immune response directed at cancer cells which may prove to be more effective and safer (i.e. a few days of temporary flu-like symptoms following treatment as the immune system attacks the cancer cells) than existing treatments.
Quantum Immunologics is pursuing a new class of therapeutics called active cellular immunotherapies (ACI) which are sometimes referred to as cancer vaccines (even though similar immunotherapy-associated treatments such as Provenge are not designed to prevent the disease like Gardasil or Cervarix, which are designed to prevent HPV infection that is associated with cervical cancer).
Quantum Immunologics has FDA-authorized Phase I/II clinical trials for patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer under way. The University of South Alabama serves as a collaborator while the trial is sponsored by Quantum Immunologics with a ClinicalTrials.gov identifier of NCT00879489. The Phase I/II clinical trial being done by Quantum Immunologics is structured as an open label, single-arm, interventional treatment study designed to assess both efficacy and safety in a single, combined trial. Quantum Immunologics reports that by combining Phase I/II into a single study saves about six months and $1 million from the clinical development process and reflects optimism toward the prospects for the Quantum Immunologics experimental cancer immunotherapeutic.
The Quantum Immunologics study will be accomplished by collecting dendritic cells (APCs) from the each patient's blood using a machine to which the patient is connected through two small cannula placed into the arm. The APCs will be manipulated in the lab with human recombinant oncofetal antigen (OFA/iLRP) and then injected into the skin of patients (intradermal administration). Quantum Immunologics says that there will be a series of three monthly skin injections, administered at four-week intervals. Quantum Immunologics hopes to induce a safe, targeted anti-cancer response by this method and the outcome measures for the study will include toxicity/safety, response, survival, immunological monitoring, and time to disease progression.
Quantum Immunologics reports that the OFA/iLRP patents are the by-product of 20 years and $30 million of research at The University of South Alabama Medical & Science Foundation and were primarily funded by the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The study undertaken by Quantum Immunologics utilizes an antigen that is found only on cancer cells and is not detected on normal tissue. Quantum Immunologics says the molecule is known as oncofetal antigen or OFA because it is only found on cancer cells and early-stage fetal cells/embryos in the womb. Because OFA is unique to cancer, Quantum Immunologics believes OFA could be used to train the patients' own immune system to mount a targeted attack of cancer cells which express this antigen. Although OFA has been found in large concentrations on all cancer types, it was found to be especially abundant in breast cancers.
The Quantum Immunologics Phase I/II clinical trial is designed to examine the inherent immune response in breast cancer patients directed towards OFA/iLRP and whether this immune response could be amplified and modified through actively vaccinating using autologous (patient-derived) OFA/iLRP-pulsed dendritic cells which are re-injected into cancer patients. OFA/iLRP is the Quantum Immunologics chosen target for this immunotherapy product candidate because it has been found to be expressed in all human cancers examined so far, including myeloid + lymphoid leukemias, lymphomas, renal cell (kidney) carcinomas, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and ovarian cancer.
Quantum Immunologics has determined that the mechanism of action of this active cancer immunotherapy product candidate is to generate a targeted and personalized immune T cell response that will fight the patient's cancer. The OFA/iLRP-loaded mature, moDCs (monocyte-derived dendritic cells) do not have a direct cytotoxic effect as with traditional treatments such as radiation therapy or chemo. Rather, the anti-cancer effect is generated by the presentation of OFA/iLRP to activate each patient's T cells for a targeted immune response to OFA/iLRP, which is specific to the patient's cancer cells which express this marker.
This mode of action, reports Quantum Immunologics, is distinct from chemotherapy, which kills not only tumor cells, but also affects normal cells such as those which divide rapidly (e.g. hair, GI tract, etc.). This approach is also different from immune-therapies that generically stimulate the immune system (e.g. cytokines such as Interleukin-2 or IL-2) or specifically target the tumor via an anti-tumor antibody (Herceptin- trastuzumab). Quantum Immunologics says that because the product requires the development of an immune response after administration, there is some delay in the potential effect of the product with the generation of each patient's immune response and a clinical effect of that may take several weeks to develop, and is typically characterized by transient, flu-like symptoms rather than the harsh side effects of radiation and/or chemotherapy.
For more information about Quantum Immunologics please visit: www.quantumimmunologics.com or call 866-213-4594.