Rochester, NY – October 10, 2012. Vaccinex, Inc. announced today that it will present preclinical results from testing of antibodies against SEMA4D and CXCL13 for the potential treatment of multiple sclerosis at the 2012 annual meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Lyon, France October 10-13.
SEMA4D has been shown to induce growth cone collapse of neurons and to induce process extension collapse and apoptosis of oligodendrocytes. Furthermore, SEMA4D has been demonstrated to inhibit oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination. Vaccinex has developed an anti-SEMA4D monoclonal antibody that prevents SEMA4D from engaging its cognate receptors PLEXINB1 and CD72. Vaccinex has shown that treatment with anti-SEMA4D MAbs attenuates the severity of EAE in several mouse EAE models. Data from preclinical studies will be presented. SEMA4D signaling through PLXNB1 has also been implicated in several key mechanisms of tumor progression including angiogenesis. Using various tumor models we demonstrated that anti-SEMA4D antibody inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis. A Phase I clinical trial assessing safety and tolerability in patients with advanced solid tumors was initiated in February 2011 and enrollment in a trial for patients with multiple sclerosis is expected to begin in November 2012.
Aberrant expression of CXCL13 within ectopic germinal centers has been linked to the development of autoimmune disorders (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis). In patients with secondary progressive MS, CXCL13-producing cells have been shown to accumulate in cerebral meninges, and elevated levels of CXCL13 have been found in serum and the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Relapsing Remitting, Primary Progressive, and Secondary Progressive MS.
Vaccinex has developed a human IgG1 monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to human, rodent and primate CXCL13 and is capable of neutralizing CXCL13 function from these various species in several in vitro functional assays. Vaccinex has also demonstrated efficacy in vivo in ameliorating Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced by either active immunization or Th17-mediated adoptive transfer. In addition, treatment with this antibody reduced the number of ectopic follicles in several different autoimmune disease models, and, in adoptive transfer studies, interfered with the trafficking of B cells to the B cell areas of spleen and lymph nodes.
Links to pertinent presentations are provided below.
Vaccinex, Inc. is a biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of human monoclonal antibodies and other biologics to treat a variety of serious illnesses, including autoimmune disease, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. The company’s patented ActivMAb® technology allows for the direct selection of high affinity, fully human monoclonal antibodies that would be difficult or impossible to identify using other systems. Vaccinex, on its own or with its partners, has advanced several antibodies from discovery and lead validation into IND-directed pre-clinical drug development.