According to the American Cancer Society, children treated with chemotherapy have a 3 to 13 times increased risk of getting another cancer within a span of 20 to 30 years of treatment. Despite this, chemotherapy remains the widely accepted and standard regimen for children with cancer. Developed as alternatives to chemotherapy over the past decade, treatments like Protein Kinase Inhibitors, Proteasome Inhibitors, and new Biologic Antibodies have unfortunately been a disappointment in the community setting and 41% of blood cancer patients choose to stop taking these treatments due to the physical and financial toxicities. In most cases, blood cancer patients relapse and expire rapidly after stopping treatment.
Unfortunately, chemotherapy remains an integral aspect of cancer treatment and is a required pre-conditioning before transplant or the newly approved CarT therapies. Chemotherapy comes at a price of toxic, sometimes life-threatening, side effects such as: Nausea and Vomiting, Mucositis, Leukopenia, Thrombocytopenia, Granulocytopenia, Neutropenia, Cardiotoxicity, Infections, Pneumonia, Anemia, and Hair Loss. Therefore, in the Hematology as well as Oncology field, new non-toxic solutions are needed to reduce the physical and financial toxicities of conventional treatments.
Founded in 2008, AVM Biotechnology is developing AVM0703—a non-toxic replacement for chemotherapy preconditioning for CAR-T/NK/TCR/TAC and other cell-based immunotherapies. Specifically, AVM’s R&D is dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of stem cell-enabling technologies for regenerative medicine, immuno-oncology, and fully human biologics applications.
AVM’s Fight against Human Exploitation
Based in Seattle, Washington—AVM Biotechnology is on the mission to end human exploitation whether it is physical or financial. Physical exploitation includes selling of organs in the black market and financial exploitation would include the non-reimbursement of fees in the newer cancer and autoimmunity treatments. Exploitation also includes the absence of non-injurious treatments for particular patients like the elderly, children, the poor or disabled.
AVM has set its goal to fight against such exploitation and work towards improving patients’ quality of life, reducing physical and financial toxicities of cancer and autoimmune treatments, and the elimination of the dread a cancer or autoimmunity diagnosis brings to patients and their loved ones. AVM0703 acute actions are relatively selective for lymphocytes, reducing the risks of infection, the need for hospitalization, transfusion requirements and patient toxicities. After a single acute IV dose, it delivers rapid clinical responses within 24 hours. Importantly, AVM0703 treatment can be safely repeated upon relapse allowing cancer or autoimmunity to be either cured or made chronic with good quality of life.
How AVM0703 Reduces Toxicity?
AVM0703 is used alone, or in combination with stem cell-based therapies, to significantly enhance stem cell tumor targeting and engraftment. AVM0703 lymphoablates all compartments and has the ability to replace chemotherapy preconditioning before transplant or adoptive cell therapy. It can be used as a stand-alone treatment which is projected to induce remission in relapsed/refractory lymphocytic blood cancers and patients with autoimmune disease who have not responded to DMAIDs (Disease-modifying anti-inflammatory drugs). As compared to commercially available versions of the API, which contain potentially toxic excipients, AVM0703 is a new formulation of an existing API with a composition of matter patent filed and it is ready for Phase 2 clinical trials. In addition to its general anti-inflammatory and lympho depleting properties, AVM0703 is dosed to transiently reduce the size and number of stem cell binding niches in the secondary lymphatic system.
CEO’s Multifaceted Work towards the Mission of AVM Biotechnology
Theresa A. Deisher, the CEO of AVM Biotechnology is leading the company on its mission to reduce physical and financial toxicities of cancer and autoimmune treatments, which will ultimately improve patients’ quality of life. At AVM Biotechnology, Theresa oversees all the Research and Development as well as clinical development. She also handles patent strategy and patent writing. Moreover, the multi-talented CEO looks at recruitments of key personnel to further expand the corporate capabilities of AVM Biotechnology. Along with these key aspects, Theresa takes care of fund raising for new developments and improvements in the existing programs at AVM Biotechnology.
Strategies to Reach Under-Developed Nations with New Partnerships
When asked about her long term plans for AVM Biotechnology, Theresa said that they have plans to partner with a global pharmaceutical company for worldwide clinical development and commercialization of AVM0703 and their second generation candidate. An important part of their long-term mission is to provide AVM therapies to under-developed regions of the world.
Additionally, Theresa and her team are working on accelerating clinical trials in autoimmunity and use of AVM0703 as a non-toxic preconditioning agent to optimize stem cell regenerative effects. For this, they are leveraging clinical dosing and safety data from relapsed/refractory lymphocytic blood cancer patients, where FDA commercial approval is rapid. The revenue generated from AVM0703 will be used to drive another development program leveraging induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). This program will be useful for general and patient-specific biologic manufacturing. Likewise, AVM Biotechnology will partner and collaborate with companies who are developing novel bioreactors and NGOs to solve supply chain limitations of vaccine provision in under-developed countries.