RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies addressing major unmet medical needs using targeted biotherapeutics, announced today that it expanded its patent portfolio with additional patents covering worldwide rights to develop and commercialize NeuVax™ (E75). The patents licensed from The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) cover the use of NeuVax in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin®; Genentech/Roche), and use in low-to-intermediate HER2+ (Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor) breast cancer patients not eligible for Herceptin therapy. These patents are added to the growing family of patents for RXi to support the development of NeuVax in a variety of indications and countries. NeuVax was discovered at The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) and licensed from MDACC and HJF.
NeuVax consists of the E75 peptide derived from HER2 combined with the immune adjuvant granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). RXi recently reported Phase 2 results at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting which showed NeuVax (E75), when combined with trastuzumab in HER2 over-expressing patients, demonstrated 0% recurrence at 48 months, with an excellent safety and tolerability profile. Thus, combination of NeuVax and trastuzumab represents a potential expansion of the market for NeuVax to HER2 3+ breast cancer patients in the adjuvant setting.
“Strengthening the breadth and depth of our intellectual property portfolio is critical to building value and the foundation of our NeuVax strategy,” stated Mark J. Ahn, PhD, President and CEO. “We look forward to initiating the NeuVax Phase 3 clinical trial in breast cancer, which is targeted to begin in the first half of 2012.”
COL George E Peoples, MD, FACS, is the inventor of the two new patents and conducted the Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of NeuVax. Dr. Peoples is Director, Cancer Vaccine Development Program; Deputy Director, United States Military Cancer Institute (USMCI); Professor, Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Chief, Surgical Oncology, Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) and Professor (adjunct), Surgical Oncology, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. USMCI is a component of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, an institution of higher learning within the Department of Defense, an agency of the U. S. Government, located in Bethesda, MD.