ELIAS Animal Health, a clinical stage development company advancing novel treatments for cancer in companion animals, today announced the initiation of a clinical trial to determine the safety and efficacy of ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy (ECI™), as a treatment for B-cell lymphoma in dogs. The majority of canine lymphomas are derived from B cells.
While lymphoma is one of the most responsive cancers to chemotherapy, permanent cures in dogs are extremely rare and remissions are short-lived. There is a need for safer, more effective treatments for this disease.
The objective of this clinical trial is to determine whether ECI™ used in combination with chemotherapy produces better outcomes than treatment with chemotherapy alone. Efficacy will be determined by patient survival and comparing the outcomes to historical control data. The trial will be conducted at the Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center.
The ECI™ treatment protocol vaccinates a patient with its own unique cancer cells. This causes an immune response with the production of T cells, which have been proven to mediate cancer immunity. Those T cells are collected from the patient through apheresis, activated to become “killer” T cells, and then multiplied in large numbers. These activated T cells are then reinfused into the patient to target the elimination of remaining cancer cells, including metastasis.
“Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers, accounting for as much as 24 percent of all cancer diagnoses in dogs, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation,” said Tammie Wahaus, chief executive officer, ELIAS Animal Health. “This clinical trial is one of several studies that we have ongoing to evaluate ECI™ as a treatment for cancer diagnosed in dogs. We are dedicated to providing pet owners and the veterinary community with a new treatment option that extends and improves the patients’ quality of life.”
“We are very pleased to be working with Dr. Mary Lynn Higginbotham and her team at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center in evaluating our novel T cell-based therapies to treat companion animals suffering from various cancers,” said Dr. Noe Reyes, medical director, ELIAS Animal Health. “T cell-based therapies have already had some dramatic successes in human cancer patients and we hope to develop and bring these same cutting edge therapies to treat our veterinary cancer patients.”
ELIAS Animal Health is also conducting clinical trials for its immunotherapy in canine osteosarcoma and other cancer types and is establishing a network of private clinics where access to the treatment will become available later this year. Pet owners or veterinarians interested in more information or participating in these clinical trials can visit www.eliasanimalhealth.com.