Baylor College of Medicine has secured Investigational New Drug regulatory clearance to perform a Phase I clinical trial in newly-diagnosed adult patients with glioblastoma (GBM), a highly lethal form of brain cancer with a five-year survival rate of less than 10% in most gage groups.
Pending institutional approval, the glioblastoma study will be conducted at MD Anderson Center at Cooper in Camden, NJ and overseen by Dr. Joseph Georges, a neurosurgery resident at Cooper University Health Care and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The vaccine technology was developed by Baylor researchers and works by “tricking” the immune system into treating cancer as it would a viral infection through the reprogramming of powerful immune cells known as dendritic cells. The inventor, Dr. William Decker, notes “if you can convince the immune system that the cancer is a viral infection you can generate a more powerful anti-cancer immune response than ordinarily possible through regular vaccination techniques. Dr. Georges noted declared “I saw the power of this vaccine approach in the laboratory when conducting PhD studies, and I believe it has the potential to help our patients with glioblastoma.”
The rights to the Baylor-developed enabling technologies have been granted by the Baylor Licensing Group to Diakonos Research, Ltd., a limited liability company based in Houston. It is ready to provide major resources for randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials that will bring this technology to the marketplace. Diakonos Research was formed in 2015 to commercialize life-saving technologies being developed by investigators in the Texas Medical Center.