(ANSA) – TURIN, 04 JAN – From the funds of the Pnrr, a loan of 950 thousand euros arrives at the Molinette hospital in Turin for the 2.0 DNA vaccine for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The project is coordinated by Francesco Novelli, professor of immunology and director of the department of molecular biotechnology and health sciences of the University, was developed with the support of the non-profit Molinette research foundation and will be conducted together with the Giaccone Polyclinic Unit of Palermo, led by Serena Meraviglia.
The aim is to validate Eno3pep as a second generation vaccine, virtually administrable to all patients with pancreatic cancer. The patent, already filed, is entitled “a second generation DNA vaccine coding for the immunodominant sequences of alpha-enolase for the treatment of pancreatic cancer”. The funding will enable the Research Consortium to complete a translational research path carried out at the Molinette hospital and obtain ministerial authorization for the clinical study of the vaccine, thus making it “certainly more attractive – reads a note from the University subalpine – for many investors from the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.
“For years – explains the University – Professor Novelli’s laboratory has been studying the relationship between the immune system and pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive and lethal cancers.
These studies led to the identification of a protein overexpressed in pancreatic cancer, alpha-enolase, capable of triggering both an antibody response and the activation of anti-tumor T lymphocytes in patients with pancreatic cancer. This immunostimulatory property has prompted the development of a DNA vaccine, encoding the entire alpha-enolase sequence, which has been shown to be effective, and to a greater extent in combination with chemotherapy, in delaying pancreatic tumor progression in animal models, without yet eradicate it altogether.
In order to increase the therapeutic efficacy of the vaccine, Professor Novelli’s group has developed a second generation DNA vaccine, selecting only some sequences of the entire alpha-enolase having the ability to stimulate a stronger and more sustained anti-tumor response (ENO3PEP). In animal models, the ENO3PEP vaccine proved to be more effective and potent than the first generation vaccine in blocking tumor progression and triggering an anti-tumor immune response”. (ANSA).
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