In a breakthrough development, the Israeli company Vaxil BioTherapeutics has formulated a therapeutic cancer vaccine. Vaxil’s lead product ImMucin is an anti-MUC1 therapeutic vaccine and is currently being evaluated in a Phase I/II clinical trial in Multiple Myeloma patients at Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem. If all goes according to plan, the vaccine could be available to patients in about 6 years, to both help treat cancer as well as to keep the disease from recurring.
The VaxHit vaccine could be applied to 90 percent of all known cancers, including prostate and breast cancer. According to an article in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs site, “In cancer, the body knows something is not quite right but the immune system doesn’t know how to protect itself against the tumor like it does against an infection or virus. This is because cancer cells are the body’s own cells gone wrong,” says Julian Levy, the company’s CFO. The trick is to activate a compromised immune system to mobilize against the threat.
In parallel, the company is also working on a vaccine that treats tuberculosis, a disease that’s increasing worldwide, including in the developed world, and for which the current vaccine is often ineffective and treatment is problematic.
Based in Ness Ziona, Vaxil was founded in 2006 by Dr. Lior Carmon, a biotechnology entrepreneur with a doctorate in immunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.