Madison Vaccines Says Peer-Reviewed Paper Demonstrates How an Androgen Receptor “Vaccine” Works in Combination with Androgen Deprivation Therapy to Combat Advanced Prostate Cancer



-- The Published Report Says Data Suggest MVI-118 Works by Taking Advantage of the Cancer’s Own Mechanism to Resist Hormone Deprivation Therapy—


--Conference Presentation also Addressed a Second MVI Trial  - MVI-816 plus Keytruda®--




Madison, WI, and National Harbor, MD – November 2017 - Madison Vaccines Incorporated (MVI), a clinical stage company developing gene-based immunotherapies, today said a recent published study further explains the mechanism of action of MVI-118 in a model of advanced prostate cancer. MVI-118 is gene-based immunotherapy, commonly called a DNA vaccine, that targets the human androgen receptor that drives the progression of prostate cancer and, in many cases, is responsible for the resistance to current treatments. Now a published study details precisely how that works in castrate-resistant prostate cancer.


Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a primary therapy for recurrent prostate cancer. The cancer responds to the therapy by overexpressing the androgen receptor (AR) to capture the decreasing amounts of androgen available. This is the mechanism the cancer uses to develop resistance to ADT – reduce serum androgens, and the cancer compensates by overexpressing the androgen receptor. Now a study in preclinical models of prostate cancer suggests this overexpression increases the very target used by immunotherapy that is aimed at the androgen receptor.

The study refers specifically to “a DNA vaccine encoding the ligand-binding domain of the androgen receptor.” This describes the human immunological target of MVI-118.


Richard R. Lesniewski, PhD, President and CEO of MVI, noted, “This mechanism also points to a direct impact on the escape of the cancer from androgen deprivation. The study goes on to show that the combination of ADT plus AR-specific immunization enhanced antitumor T-cell immunity, and that, in turn, delayed recurrence of castrate-resistant tumors.”


Lead author of the paper was Douglas McNeel, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Founder of MVI and Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  The findings were presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting, in National Harbor, MD, and published in the journals of the American Association for Cancer Research.


At the SITC meeting, Dr. McNeel also presented a talk about a combination trial using MVI’s second plasmid DNA vaccine, MVI-816, coupled with a PD-1 inhibitor, Keytruda®. MVI-816 targets cells expressing prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), an antigen specific to prostate cells. This appears to activate and increase the number of immune system T cells in the prostate tumor. Then the addition of a PD-1 inhibitor enables these T-cells to more efficiently kill the cancer.


Dr. McNeel discussed early signals from a Phase 1b clinical trial in metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer showing that the combination of DNA vaccine (MVI-816) plus PD-1 inhibitor (Keytruda®) induced PSA and radiographic responses in men with advanced prostate cancer with 12 weeks of dosing.  Dr. McNeel also noted that MVI has begun dosing an expanded cohort of 20 patients with metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer, who will be offered the combination regimen for close to a year. Read more at





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Peer-Reviewed Paper Demonstrates How MVI-118 Works in Combination with Androgen Deprivation Therapy in advanced prostate cancer






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