At the recent VetHealth Global 2011 convention, Dr. Douglas Kern, DVM,VGX Animal Health’s Vice President of Business Development made an announcement regarding their results for a recent DNA Vaccine. The vaccine, VAH-5000D targets the telomerase protein TERT, and shows a strong T cell immune response for the treatment of dogs with cancer. Dave Ruslander a veterinary oncologist and past president of the Veterinary Cancer Society, states that almost 50% of dogs over the age of 10 experience some form of cancer in their lifetime. Only two years the first cancer drug for dogs, ONCEPT, was approved by the FDA.
VGX Animal Health (renamed Plumbline Life Science), used electroporation to deliver the highly optimized DNA vaccine to mice and found that the vaccine resulted in a strong TERT specific T cell immune response. This response triggers the demise of cells that have begun to function abnormally and have become immortal, which is thought to be an intregal part in the development of many types of cancer. Results also showed the vaccination with the TERT DNA vaccine resulted in the delayed growth of implanted tumors and increased the overall survival rate of the mice.
TERT which is a catalytic subunit of the enzyme telomerase is targeted by therapeutic vaccines (VAH- 5000D) to stimulate the rapid killing of tumor cells by enhancing the activity of telomerase-specific T cells. There is evidence that a Human TERT (hTERT) enzyme that is present in nearly 85% of malignant human cancer tumors is also being targeted with DNA Vaccines to offer treatment to patients. Those with leukemia, renal, prostate, lung, skin, pancreatic and breast cancer are also recieving treatment through DNA Vaccines.
VGX Animal Health is currently focused on developing the DNA vaccine using plasmid based DNA vaccines to increase an animal’s complete life potential.