Aldevron Plasmids Used to Support Calviri’s Clinical Trial of a Vaccine Against Canine Cancer

TEMPE, A.Z. and FARGO, N.D., Dec. 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Prevention of cancer onset is the ultimate aspiration for animals and humans. Cancer is caused by mutations that are specific to the tumor which continues to mutate -- making it extremely difficult for the immune system to defend against it. Aldevron is providing plasmid DNA to Calviri, Inc, a spin out from Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, focused on prevention and treatment of cancer. The plasmids are a key component in the vaccines currently being used in the world’s largest canine cancer trial.

Calviri is testing the efficacy of a Vaccine Against Canine Cancer (VACC) trial, being conducted at three clinical sites: Colorado State University (CSU), the University of Wisconsin and the University of California Davis. Dogs are considered to be strong intermediate models for humans given they live in the same environment and develop similar types of cancer. Dr. Doug Thamm, the Director of Clinical Research at CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center, said, “the vaccine will work like a vaccine for any virus, such as the flu. It will help the immune system recognize bad actors — in this case, proteins within cells associated with cancer — so the immune system can fight off the cancer cells as they begin to develop.”

The two plasmids were designed to express the unique frameshift neoantigens Calviri has discovered common in most cancers of dogs. The plasmids are part of a prime/boost vaccination of dogs without cancer. The dogs are being regularly monitored for the incidence of cancer. The plasmids were produced by Aldevron under Calviri’s specifications and were approved by the USDA for this trial.

“This vaccine, if successful, could be the start of a promising prevention treatment for human cancer,” said Stephen Albert Johnston, CEO of Calviri. “It’s an exciting prospect but very high risk relative to success. Therefore, we are particularly grateful to the owners who are enrolling their dogs.”

The team at ASU and CSU must rely on the suppliers of critical materials to have a meticulous approach to manufacturing, and a dedication and commitment to support researchers trying to solve the world’s biggest health challenges.

“Our supply partners need to be as serious as we are about our clinical trials,” Johnston continued. “And that is why we work with Aldevron. With over 20 years of experience producing plasmid DNA for clinical and commercial use, we trust them to supply the essential materials we need to create the vaccine. They have visited our labs and keep the patient in mind as much as we do.”

Aldevron’s 70,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, opened in 2018, has the technology and capacity to supply plasmid DNA for programs such as ASU’s from early stages through commercial production. Throughout its history Aldevron has shown a commitment to DNA drug development, having provided drug substances for clinical trials treating malaria, West Nile virus, and non-small cell lung cancer.

“Aldevron is honored to partner with Stephen to support his team’s efforts to develop this new approach that may help prevent cancer,” said Michael Chambers, CEO of Aldevron. “The potential is exciting, and we look forward to their progress. We are proud to supply high quality plasmids to those companies creating treatments that may transform medicine.”

To learn more about how plasmid DNA is used in vaccines and more, Aldevron recently released an animated video explaining what plasmid DNA is and some of its many applications

About Aldevron
Aldevron serves the biotechnology industry with custom production of nucleic acids, proteins, and antibodies. Thousands of clients use Aldevron-produced plasmids, RNA and gene editing enzymes for projects ranging from research grade to clinical trials to commercial applications. Aldevron specializes in GMP manufacturing and is known for inventing the GMP-SourceTM quality system. Company headquarters are in Fargo, N.D., with additional facilities in Madison, Wisc., and Freiburg, Germany.

About Calviri
About Calviri, Inc. Calviri, Inc is a biotech company based on inventions from the Center for Innovations in Medicine. It is focused on diagnostics for the early detection of cancer and for vaccines to eliminate cancer. It is developing a portfolio of fundamentally different vaccines designed to therapeutically treat each major type of cancer or to prevent cancer from starting in the first place.


Stephen Johnston, scientist and professor at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has worked for 12 years on a vaccine to prevent canine cancer. Trilly is the the first dog to receive the vaccine in a trial that launched early May. (Photo: Arizona State University)

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