ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Agilvax, Inc. announced a significant milestone for its immunotherapy, AX09, for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). The preclinical results are being published in an article in the journal OncoImmunology, entitled “A Virus-Like-Particle immunotherapy targeting Epitope-Specific anti-xCT expressed on cancer stem cell inhibits the progression of metastatic cancer in vivo.” Agilvax is a biotechnology company that develops targeted cancer immunotherapies and vaccines using its proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) discovery and development technology.

“A Virus-Like-Particle immunotherapy targeting Epitope-Specific anti-xCT expressed on cancer stem cell inhibits the progression of metastatic cancer in vivo.”

The preclinical results show that AX09 is able to significantly reduce both tumor growth and the development of pulmonary metastases, as a result of a robust and specific antibody response against xCT. Additionally, IgG isolated from AX09 treated mice bound to cancer stem cells, inhibited xCT function, and decreased cell growth in vitro. Collectively this data demonstrates the promise of AX09 as a potential therapy for TNBC. AX09 is currently being tested in combination with chemotherapy agents and checkpoint inhibitors to improve antitumor effects.

“AX09 represents a highly promising new therapy for TNBC,” commented Federica Pericle, Ph.D., MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to receive scientific interest in Agilvax, and AX09, as demonstrated by this publication in a high impact peer reviewed journal. We are focusing efforts and resources to complete IND enabling studies and ultimately advancing AX09 through the clinic.”

TNBC is a histological subtype of breast cancer that is aggressive, with an overall poor prognosis due to a lack of effective treatment options. Chemotherapy remains the primary treatment for TNBC across the different settings: neoadjuvant, adjuvant, and metastatic.

AX09 is a VLP that displays a portion of the extracellular domain of the cystine-glutamate antiporter system protein xCT (SLC7A11), which has been found to be overexpressed in cancer stem cells. TNBC is enriched in cancer stem cells, which contributes to the aggressive nature of TNBC. Cancer stem cells have unique biological properties that represent a key cellular reservoir for relapse, metastatic progression and therapeutic resistance. Thus, the development of therapies that eliminate cancer stem cells is paramount to creating a durable response.