Will develop new preclinical and clinical versions of its proprietary DRibble immunotherapy
UbiVac, a privately held clinical stage immuno-oncology company, based in Portland, Oregon in the US, will collaborate with Janssen Biotech, a division of Johnson & Johnson in the development of a vaccine to treat cancer.
The Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in California facilitated the research agreement on behalf of the Janssen Disease Interception Accelerator.
Under the agreement, UbiVac will develop new preclinical and clinical versions of its proprietary DRibble immunotherapy for use in preclinical studies of oral cancer. The firm will receive an upfront payment from Janssen, plus additional payments upon reaching certain research, development and manufacturing milestones. In addition to funding the research, Janssen has an option for further development and licensing of the new immunotherapy.
The development of a vaccine for cancer has long been a dream of UbiVac
No further financial details have been revealed.
Many oral cancers develop from oral leukoplakia, a white lesion that develops in the oral cavity and is estimated to affect 2% of the global population. The World Health Organisation defines this as a potentially malignant condition, with 1% of lesions progressing to oral cancer annually.
Bernard Fox, Chief Executive at UbiVac, said: 'The development of a vaccine for cancer has long been a dream of UbiVac. This project provides a scientific partner and the resources that could make that dream a reality.'
UbiVac is a spinout of the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute at Providence Portland Medical Center in the US.