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CEL-SCI Announces New Data for Its Rheumatoid Arthritis Vaccine Candidate

Thursday, June 8, 2017  
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CEL-SCI Corporation has published data from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) studies in Vaccine, a leading peer-reviewed journal for researchers interested in vaccines and vaccination. The paper titled “An epitope-specific DerG-PG70 LEAPS vaccine modulates T cell responses and suppresses arthritis progression in two related murine models of rheumatoid arthritis” and is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X17306072.

As described in the article, investigators from Rush University Medical Center evaluated CEL-SCI’s CEL-4000 rheumatoid arthritis vaccine candidate in 2 animal models that resemble the RA disease process in humans better than other animal models. The CEL-4000 (DerG-PG70 LEAPS) treatment vaccine was given to these animals after the onset of RA symptoms.

CEL-4000 inhibited disease progression and demonstrated a shift from a pro-inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory environment, as indicated by significant decreases in both RA visual scores and histopathological changes in animals receiving CEL-4000 treatment vaccine. The authors concluded that CEL-4000 exerts its therapeutic effect by interacting with CD4+ cells, which results in an antigen-specific down-modulation of pathogenic CD4+ cell responses through up modulation of CD4+ FoxP3+ Treg cells. Although the precise causes of RA are not known, the disease is thought to be maintained in animals and humans by pro-inflammatory immune responses. The activation of the CD4+ FoxP3+ Tregs (immune regulatory T cells) is therefore believed to be important in the down regulation of the pro-inflammatory processes that otherwise drive this disease.

Dr. Zimmerman, CEL-SCI’s Senior Vice President of Research, Cellular Immunology and the inventor of the technology underlying CEL-4000, stated, “Current treatments for RA focus on the alleviation of symptoms and delaying disease progression. Our vaccination approach attempts to treat RA by impacting the pro-inflammatory immune response so that the body’s joints are no longer attacked by it.”

“Based on these data and results from prior studies, we believe CEL-4000 could be a potentially valuable asset in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and it could be positioned as a first-line treatment to inhibit disease progression in newly diagnosed patients. We are pleased to advance the development of CEL-4000 through the support of the National Institutes of Health and look forward to advancing it into clinical trials in the future,” CEL-SCI CEO Geert Kersten added.

This study was supported in part by funding of a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Arthritis Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study was conducted in collaboration with Drs. Katalin Mikecz and Tibor Glant, and their research team at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.

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