TapImmune Inc. is a biotech firm focused on increasing the efficacy of vaccines by enhancing antigen presentation through the use of the Transporter of Antigen Processing (TAP). The company’s technology has broad applications in developing therapeutic and preventative vaccines. TapImmune’s strategy is to build a patented proprietary product pipeline and capitalize on the breadth of the TAP technology through collaborative partnerships and license agreements.
The global vaccine market is estimated to be a $21 billion market in 2010. TapImmune sees large market opportunities for their TAP vaccine technology in the areas of prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death by illness in the United States. The market for cancer treatments in the United States has grown into a $10 billion market. This market is expected to continue increasing as, according to the National Cancer Institute, cancer will be the leading cause of death by illness in the US within 5 years. Cancer vaccines are expected to become a major player in the marketplace, with forecasts that it will become a $8 billion market by 2012.
Traditional approaches to cancer treatments include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Because of the difficulty of removing or destroying all cancer cells, these approaches have numerous side effects for patients and a high mortality rate. TapImmune’s alternative to these approaches to cancer treatment is based on increased knowledge of the human genome and immune system.
Clinical studies to date have identified a large number of cancers deficient in TAP. TAP immunotherapy holds the potential of higher efficacy and lower side effects in cancer treatment. In pre-clinical trials for melanoma and lung carcinoma, animal survival rates of 70 percent were achieved using TAP immunotherapy and 100 percent survival when TAP was administered ex-vivo.
Many vaccines require the use of adjuvants to generate adequate protective immunity to prevent or treat infectious diseases. As a result, most vaccines are combined with an adjuvant that enhances the ability of an injected vaccine to stimulate an immune response and thus protect the recipient by preventing or treating diseases. TapImmune’s vaccine adjuvant has shown 100 times greater potency than non-adjuvanted vaccines in animal studies when combined with vaccines.
Currently, there is only one FDA-approved adjuvant available for use in humans. The need to immunize entire populations against a growing number of infectious diseases will require greater efficiency of the primary vaccine inoculae and may provide another lucrative opportunity for TapImmune.
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