UNM Rainforest Innovations

Local start-up company Agilvax, Inc., headquartered in Albuquerque, is commercializing a virus-like particle (VLP) technology platform developed by UNM researchers Dr. David Peabody and Dr. Bryce Chackerian and cancer immunotherapies for one of the hardest to treat breast cancers.  The company’s AX09  immunotherapeutic was recently reviewed in the journal Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy for its preclinical efficacy in targeting triple negative breast cancer.  See the company’s announcement, reprinted below.

Agilvax Announces Publication of Preclinical Efficacy Studies for AX09 Against Breast Cancer 

June 26, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– Agilvax, Inc. announced the publication of a focused research review for its immunotherapy, AX09, for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). The review article is published in the journal Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapyentitled “Fighting breast cancer stem cells through the immune-targeting of the xCT cystine–glutamate antiporter”.  Agilvax is a biotechnology company that develops targeted cancer immunotherapies and vaccines using its proprietary discovery and development technology.

The review highlights xCT as a highly desirable target to treat metastatic breast cancer.  xCT has known metabolic functions in normal and cancer cells where it plays a critical role in cellular defenses, detoxification, and intracellular balance. xCT overexpression occurs in several cancers leading to overarching metabolic changes that reprograms cells for tumor growth and survival.  Preclinical evidence is reviewed in the article showing significant anti-xCT immune response using Agilvax technology (VLP and DNA based therapies) along with tumor impairment and reduced metastatic progression.

The research demonstrates the promise of AX09 as a potential therapy for TNBC and other cancers with over expression of xCT. AX09 is currently being tested in combination with chemotherapy agents and checkpoint inhibitors to optimize antitumor effects.

“This research underlines the significant potential of AX09 as a promising new therapy for TNBC” commented Federica Pericle, Ph.D., MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Agilvax is focusing efforts to advance AX09 development through IND enabling studies and ultimately to show clinical proof of concept”.

TNBC is a histological subtype of breast cancer that is aggressive, with an overall poor prognosis due to a lack of effective treatment options.

About Agilvax

Agilvaxdiscovers and develops targeted cancer immunotherapies using its proprietary discovery and development technology.  Agilvax’slead product, AX09, is being developed as an immunotherapy for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) by inhibiting the function of xCT, a novel molecular mechanism responsible for tumor growth and metastatic progression.  The Company was founded in 2011 and has headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with offices in El Paso, Texas and JLABS @ TMC in Houston, Texas.

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