Search for content, post, videos

Interview: Jens Bjørheim, Chief Medical Officer, Ultimovacs

The company’s universal cancer vaccine, UV1, in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab, has recently demonstrated a 60% objective response rate in metastatic malignant melanoma. Nordic Life Science asked the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Ultimovacs, Jens Bjørheim, about the new findings and the company's further development of UV1. Describe your reactions to these new, very encouraging, findings and what this data means for the company’s further development of UV1? "We presented 18 months landmark data from 20 patients with advanced malignant melanoma at the ASCO annual meeting in June 2021. The safety profile of combined treatment with pembrolizumab and UV1 was as expected for pembrolizumab monotherapy treatment alone, apart from injection site reactions. The safety profile of the UV1 vaccine in this study opens for combination treatment with little risk that UV1 adds much to safety events." "The results from that study, together with the results from the current study, give us confidence moving forward within this indication." "On the efficacy side the objective response rate was high compared with results reported for pembrolizumab alone. The most surprising was 6 complete responders among the 30 patients, corresponding to a complete response rate of 30%. We have previously conducted a phase 1 trial with 12 patients where we combined ipilimumab and the vaccine. The results from that study, together with the results from the current study, give us confidence moving forward within this indication." [August 12, Ultimovacs also announced positive results from the second cohort of 10 patients after one year of the ongoing trial. Tumor shrinkage was evident in six of the 10 patients, a 60% objective response rate. In three of the patients, the tumors were reduced to undetectable levels, a 30% complete response rate.] Describe the advantages of the design of your vaccine? "The UV1 vaccine is a peptide-based therapeutic cancer vaccine. The antigen we vaccinate towards is the enzyme telomerase (hTERT). This is a highly relevant target because 80-90% of all cancer indications express this antigen, so the vaccine might become relevant for a very large number of cancer patients. The telomerase expression in these cancer patients is mainly due to mutations that appear early in the development of the cancer. Therefore, the vaccine might be relevant in different stages of cancer and in all parts of the cancer." "Further, within the vaccine peptides there are several sequences or epitopes that can be recognized by T-cells, so we do not need to perform tissue typing (HLA-analysis) of the patients prior to inclusion in studies." UV1-vaksinen injiseres i huden på pasientens mage og innholdet i vaksinen (telomerasepeptidene) tas opp av såkalte antigen-presenterende celler Disse cellene transporterer peptidene til lymfeknuten der de aktiverer T celler r
Already a subscriber Login

You have read all your free articles, to continue reading subscribe to read the rest of this content.