Advaxis: Stimulating a therapeutic immune response against cancer using bacteria Print E-mail
By Patrick Crutcher   
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 09:42

Last week, we told our subscribers about Advaxis Inc.(OTC: ADXS.OB), and today the company announced that they have been notified by the European Patent Office that their patent application for the use of Prokaryotic PEST-Like Peptides for Enhancing Immunogenicity of Antigen has been allowed for issuance.

This patent, when granted, will be licensed exclusively to Advaxis by the University of Pennsylvania. It extends protection for Advaxis’ use of proprietary antigen-adjuvant fusion proteins beyond Listeria to viral and DNA vaccine vectors as well. This will provide patent protection to 2025.

Ever since the approval of DNDN’s Provenge, Wall Street and investors have been scouring over immunotherapy companies in search of "the next big one." I don’t claim to have found it, but  this company's technology and future business plan differentiates them from the rest.

In time, Advaxis Inc.(OTC: ADXS.OB) could revolutionize the immunotherapy sector and I believe they have a much stronger platform than DNDN, CLDX, or IMMU to name a few.

Advaxis, Inc.(ADXS) is a biotechnology company that uses a bioengineered bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, to activate the immune system to treat cancer, infectious disease or allergic syndromes. They are the only company using this technology and have a strong IP portfolio to protect it as well. Their technology is based on Dr. Yvonne Paterson, professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania. ADXS’s vaccines are broadly applicable to various cancer types, do not require processing for each individual (like Provenge), and are easily stored. The last two help to ensure a more cost-efficient development of their platform and in turn costs for the patient.

Essentially, the  ADXS technology platform caught many investor’s attention when they posted incredible survival data for ADXS11-001 in their Phase 1 for cervical cancer had 2 of 13 patients live more than 3 years. The one-year survival rate for cervical cancer is near 5%; ADXS posted a 10-fold increase in 1-year survival at 53%. Those type of results are rarely ever seen in clinical studies.

ADXS has big ambitions for their Listeria based platform. Below is a table of their pipeline and future milestones to look forward to. Investors should notice that ADXS has several big name sponsors attached to their trials. Specifically, ADXS has the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Research UK paying for legs of their trials. They recently pushed forward with Phase 2 trials in cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer.

Recently, they have begun to realize that in order to survive without endless capital raises, they need to diversify their platform and get funding from outside sources. They recently have diversified their business by venturing into the veterinary sciences with a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) collaborative research and development agreement for a pilot proof-of-concept cattle safety study and Tuesday’s news regarding canine osteosarcoma. This business venture offers a relatively low-risk development pathway and costs substantially less than human clinical trials. It offers considerable revenue potential to ADXS, since the veterinary and farm market is relatively untouched by most biotechs. They are trying to touch as many potential revenue streams as possible, all at minimal cost to the company and shareholders.     

Investors have a lot to look forward in ADXS over the coming years. Their long-term potential is what investors should consider. CEO Thomas Moore has been making smart moves for the company and is very competent. I believe their recent diversification into veterinary sciences strengthens their chances of realizing their cancer pipeline, since revenues from this could help fund the other. They have over $7.5M in committed financing from Optimus Capital Partners Inc. for the next 3 years. We encourage investors to read their most recent presentation (June 2010 - videocast here) and an analyst report from Stonegate Securities, both of which are in the Research section.

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