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Patent Awarded for Cancer-Fighting Antibody

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia (A. Kotok)

7 November 2016. A synthetic engineered antibody that binds to solid tumor cells for cancer diagnostics and treatment received a U.S. patent. Patent number 9,475,874 was awarded in late October by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to three inventors, including Wolfgang Scholz, a vice-president at MabVax Therapeutics in San Diego, the owner of the patent.

The patent covers MabVax’s technology behind its lead human antibody known as HuMab 5B1. That antibody is a product of blood samples from patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who were given carbohydrate antigens associated with solid tumor cancers: lung, sarcoma, melanoma, neuroblastoma (brain), breast, colon, and ovarian cancers. The antibodies generated by the patients are then extracted and screened against tumor cell targets to find those that best seek out and bind to those targets.

In this case, the patent specifically protects antibodies targeting a specific biomarker, known as Sialyl-Lewis.sup.a expressed on the surface of pancreatic and related tumors. Antibodies that bind to Sialyl-Lewis.sup.a using heavy or light-chain molecules, referring to the size and complexity of the molecules, are also covered. In addition, the patent includes products derived from these antibodies for cancer treatments and diagnostics.

MabVax so far derived two products from HuMab 5B1. A cancer treatment code-named MVT-5873 is designed as a therapy for pancreatic and colon tumors. An early-stage clinical trial is underway testing the safety and chemical activities in the body of MVT-5873. The second part of that same trial aims to establish a safe optimum dose, when combined with chemotherapy as a treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer expressing the biomarkers targeted by MVT-5873. That trial is conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Sarah Cannon cancer centers in Nashville and Sarasota, Florida.

Another product of HuMab 5B1, code-named MVT-2163, is designed to diagnose pancreatic cancer. In this case, the antibody is combined with positron emission tomography or PET imaging agents to produce high-resolution images of tumors. An early-stage clinical trial is also underway at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center testing MVT-2163, both alone and with MVT-5873, for safety, as well as activity and distribution in the body. The study aims to determine the safe dose and best conditions for optimum PET scans.

“This first patent is a foundation of our intellectual property estate for HuMab 5B1,” says David Hansen, MabVax CEO in a company statement. “We filed similar patent applications in most major health care markets across the world as part of our strategy to build a worldwide patent estate for our HuMab 5B1 program.”

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