HyperAcute® Melanoma Cancer Immunotherapy
Our HyperAcute Melanoma cancer immunotherapy product candidate, or HyperAcute Melanoma, is being studied in an investigator-initiated Phase 2 clinical trial in 25 patients with advanced melanoma. In this trial, HyperAcute Melanoma is being administered in combination with an eight-week course of PEG-Intron, a man-made immune modulator that has been tested for the treatment of melanoma. HyperAcute Melanoma consists of a group of three allogeneic melanoma tumor cell lines that were modified to express the gene that makes alpha (1,3) galactosyl transferase, or α-GT. These three cell lines each possess collections of known melanoma antigens so that the immune response they stimulate will provide broad coverage.
Melanoma is an often lethal form of skin cancer. If it is not recognized and treated early, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2009 there were 8,650 deaths from melanoma in the United States and there will have been approximately 68,000 new cases of melanoma in the United States in 2010.