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TapImmune Receives Notice of Allowance for U.S. Patent Relating to Methods for Enhancing an Immune Response
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
TapImmune Inc. (OTCBB: TPIM) (FRANKFURT: GX1A) announced today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. patent application No. 10/046,542, entitled "Method of Enhancing an Immune Response." The patent application has allowed claims that relate to methods for enhancing the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte response to tumor cells by introducing the TAP molecule into the infected cell.
TAP, or Transporters Associated with Antigen Processing, are proteins responsible for supplying tumor-associated antigens (markers) and viral antigens to the surface of infected cells. Without TAP, there are no cancer markers, so the immune system fails to spot the rogue cells and the cancerous cells can grow undetected.
"This is a tremendous milestone for the Company," said Denis Corin, CEO of TapImmune. "The notice of allowance for this patent gives our Company a well protected platform from which to continue our development on a number of potential products in both the prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine markets and will allow us to approach potential partners with confidence."
Cancer vaccines are intended either to treat existing cancers (therapeutic vaccines) or to prevent the development of cancer (prophylactic vaccines). Prophylactic vaccines are given to healthy individuals to stimulate the immune system to attack cancer-causing viruses and prevent viral infection. Therapeutic vaccines, which are administered to cancer patients, are designed to treat cancer by stimulating the immune system to recognize and attack human cancer cells without harming normal cells.
"In many cancers, the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) is missing from, or is down-regulated, in the affected cell. Thus, the immune system is not able to distinguish between normal cells and cancerous cells, effectively hiding the cancer from the immune system. These cancerous cells can progress into tumors that eventually cause mortality in humans affected with the disease," added Mr. Corin. "TapImmune's vaccine technology is based on reintroducing TAP, thereby modulating the activity of the antigen processing machinery to increase effective presentation of antigens, or markers, to the immune system. The immune system can use this information to selectively destroy cancerous cells or those infected with pathogens."
A paper entitled, "Using the TAP Component of the Antigen-Processing Machinery as a Molecular Adjuvant," published December 2005 in PLoS Pathogens, has suggested that this new paradigm is applicable to many viruses and could significantly advance the creation of new vaccines and improve those that already exist.
TapImmune is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of innovative therapeutics and vaccines in the areas of oncology and infectious disease. The company's lead product, TAP vaccine, performs a key step in moving characteristic markers called antigens to the surfaces of cells. TAP, or Transporters Associated with Antigen Processing, are proteins responsible for supplying tumor-associated antigens (markers) and viral antigens to the surface of infected cells. Without TAP, there are no cancer markers, so the immune system fails to spot the rogue cells and the cancerous cells can grow undetected.
The Company's vaccine has shown, in preclinical tests, effective restoration of TAP which restores and augments the marker (antigen) presentation and subsequent recognition and killing of cancer cells by the immune system. The TAP molecule also works as an adjuvant or 'accelerant' to enhance targeted vaccines against infectious diseases. The global vaccine market is expected to grow from $13 billion in 2007 to $21 billion in 2010.
TapImmune is preparing GLP manufactured materials for the commencement of toxicology studies on the AdhTAP vaccine, leading to the initiation of a Phase I clinical trial. The Company is also developing a TAP-based vaccine adjuvant which existing preclinical data suggest increases the efficacy of targeted prophylactic vaccines by up to 1000 times.
Additional information on the Company can be found on its web site www.TapImmune.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this news release concerning the Company's expectations, plans, business outlook or future performance, and any other statements concerning assumptions made or expectations as to any future events, conditions, performance or other matters, are "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements are by their nature subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those stored in such statements. Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to the risks set forth in the Company's most recent Form 10-KSB and other SEC filings which are available through EDGAR at www.sec.gov. These are among the primary risks we foresee at the present time. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements.
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