Madison Vaccines Incorporated (MVI) is developing two distinct DNA plasmid immune stimulants for patients with prostate cancer. MVI is a Delaware C-Corporation operating in Madison, Wisconsin whose principal founders are Douglas McNeel, M.D., Ph.D. and Richard Lesniewski, Ph.D.
MVI DNA plasmids target a rapidly growing unmet medical need. With “Baby Boomers” reaching the age when men are most commonly diagnosed with prostate cancer, there will be a surge in the number of cases of this disease over the next decade. The projected compounded annual growth rate for new cases of prostate cancer is expected to be ~2% from 2020-2030. As many as a third of patients initially treated for this disease will experience disease recurrence, and approximately half of these men will progress to bone metastases and die from prostate cancer. Controversies around PSA screening, increasing utilization of novel PET imaging technologies and a globally aging population conspire to increase rates of metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the United States (after skin cancer). In the US alone, it is estimated there will be > 190,000 new diagnoses of prostate cancer in 2020, of which approximately 20% will be metastatic. And it is critical to note that prostate cancer disproportionately occurs in African American men, who have more aggressive disease at diagnosis and who die from this disease at a rate more than double that of non-Hispanic white men. All men are not sharing the burden of this disease equally.
MVI vaccines are directly targeting this unmet need with T-cell activating molecules designed to re-activate the body’s own immune system to kill prostate tumors, prevent crippling bone metastases, and improve quality and duration of life.
Both MVI assets are complementary to emerging checkpoint inhibitor therapies; critical, since monotherapy with these inhibitors is insufficient to induce efficacy consistent with approval in prostate cancer. MVI’s DNA plasmids, by inducing Th-1 biased immune responses to prostate antigens, inducing gamma interferon release, and upregulating both PD-1 on T-cells and PD-L1 on prostate tumors, provide ideal combination agents that enable meaningful clinical responses when used with checkpoint inhibitors. MVI’s AR vaccine is also ideally suited for combination therapy with standard-of-care androgen deprivation therapy and the new generation of androgen receptor axis inhibitor drugs coming to the market to treat prostate cancers.
MVI works with premier prostate cancer treatment institutions in the U.S. to ensure high quality trials, maximizing its chances of achieving differentiated, approvable, and reimbursable vaccines for patients.