CARLSBAD, Calif., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Immune Response Corporation (Nasdaq: IMNR) announced today that it has received United States Patent Number 6,207,645 expanding coverage relating to its immune-based therapy for rheumatoid arthritis, RAVAX(TM). The recently issued patent has specific claims covering immunization utilizing DNA vaccines that are designed to synthesize the T cell receptor (TCR) Vbeta specific peptides in situ, in contrast to immunizing directly with the TCR peptides themselves. The patent also includes specific claims for DNA vaccines encoding key "superantigen" protein sequences from the Vbeta 3, Vbeta 14 and Vbeta 17 regions of the TCR present on the surface of these pathogenic T cells thought to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The Company believes that vaccination with RAVAX may inhibit the disease-associated T cells that cause rheumatoid arthritis, and prevent further damage in patients suffering from the disease.
"This recent issuance is a key patent in that it extends previous coverage related to the delivery and composition of RAVAX to now include DNA vaccines in addition to peptide vaccines," said Richard Bartholomew, Ph.D., Executive Director of Research Operations for The Immune Response Corporation. "DNA vaccination is proving to be an effective method of inducing immunity against a number of human diseases. The issuance of this patent to include DNA vaccination for our peptide vaccine program serves to further strengthen our intellectual property position in the field of T cell receptor vaccine research." The Company previously announced that it was issued U.S. patent number 6,090,387 for vaccinating with T cell receptor peptides on August 9, 2000.
Several autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis, are thought to result in part from the proliferation of "autoreactive pathogenic T cells," immune cells that incorrectly identify the body's own cells as foreign and destroy them.
The Immune Response Corporation has completed two Phase II clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis using their proprietary immune-based therapy based on TCR peptide vaccines. In a phase IIb trial of 340 rheumatoid arthritis patients, RAVAX demonstrated safety and tolerability, and suggested a statistically significant treatment effect at one time point after the third injection using criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR 20). The ACR 20 criteria require an improvement in tender and swollen joint counts of at least 20% from baseline, along with improvement in three of five other disease-related criteria. To date, no clinical studies have been initiated utilizing the DNA vaccination approach.
The Immune Response Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company based in Carlsbad, California, developing immune-based therapies to induce specific immune responses for the treatment of HIV, autoimmune diseases and cancer. In addition, the Company is developing a targeted non-viral delivery technology for gene therapy, which is designed to enable the delivery of genes directly to the liver via intravenous injection.
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This news release
contains forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially
from those expected due to a variety of risk factors, including, but not
limited to, whether clinical trials will ever be conducted and whether
a product will be successfully developed and approved for marketing.
Those factors are discussed more thoroughly in The Immune Response Corporation's
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the year ended December 31, 1999 and subsequent Forms 10-Q. The Company
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SOURCE The Immune
Web Site: http://www.imnr.com.