CEL-SCI to Conduct First Clinical Study of Investigational LEAPS-H1N1 Treatment for Hospitalized H1N1 Infected Patients at Johns Hopkins University…
CEL-SCI to Conduct First Clinical Study of Investigational LEAPS-H1N1 Treatment for Hospitalized H1N1 Infected Patients at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSE Amex: CVM), a developer of vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and a late-stage oncology company, announced that an Institutional Review Board of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Johns Hopkins) has given clearance for the Company’s first clinical study to proceed. As a result, Johns Hopkins will host the study, which will be led by Principal Investigator Jonathan M. Zenilman, MD, Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Chief of Infectious Diseases Division, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. As previously announced, this initial study will involve taking blood from hospitalized, laboratory-confirmed H1N1 patients and activating their cells with the LEAPS H1N1 investigational therapy in order to assess the cells’ response as the basis for the planned future treatment of this patient population under a next-stage clinical trial protocol (see also Infectious Diseases).
In September, the Company announced that the FDA had indicated that the Company could commence this study. In order for FDA to fully consider a next-stage clinical trial to evaluate LEAPS-H1N1 treatment of hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed H1N1 Pandemic Flu under an Exploratory IND, FDA has asked CEL-SCI to submit a detailed follow-up regulatory filing with extensive additional data.
"We are pleased that such a prestigious medical center has given clearance to proceed with this first study of our LEAPS-H1N1 treatment," said Geert Kersten, CEL-SCI’s Chief Executive Officer. "Given the nature and severity of the virus, we are working diligently with our CRO and Johns Hopkins, and actively preparing submissions to the FDA, to support the fastest and most effective way to conduct clinical trials going forward for this unique investigational treatment."
The initiation of CEL-SCI’s rapidly-accelerated LEAPS-H1N1 clinical development program builds on CEL-SCI’s pioneering work with its LEAPS technology in the context of H1N1. CEL-SCI’s L.E.A.P.S.? (Ligand Epitope Antigen Presentation System) technology allows the Company to direct an immune response against specific disease epitopes. In the case of CEL-SCI’s investigational LEAPS-H1N1 treatment, this involves non-changing regions of H1N1 Pandemic Flu, Avian Flu (H5N1), and the Spanish Flu. This is intended to enable stimulation of the specifically-needed immune responses, while avoiding the administration of regions of H1N1, and other viruses, which may exacerbate the problem of cytokine storm, which CEL-SCI scientists believe may be involved in the death of some H1N1 patients.
L.E.A.P.S. technology is a novel T-cell modulation platform technology that enables CEL-SCI to design and synthesize, non-recombinantly, proprietary immunogens. The L.E.A.P.S. technology combines a small peptide that activates the immune system with a small peptide from a disease-related protein, such as the H1N1 hemagglutinin molecule, to make an investigational product that induces defined immune responses. Each L.E.A.P.S. construct is composed of a T cell binding ligand (TCBL) which previously has demonstrated the ability to induce and elicit protective immunity and antigen-specific antibody production in animal models. Thus, extensive animal studies conducted to date indicate that any disease for which an antigenic sequence has been identified, such as infectious, parasitic, malignant or autoimmune diseases and allergies, are potential therapeutic or preventive sites for the application of L.E.A.P.S. technology.
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