Research and Development

Strong Unmet Medical Need. Stronger Potential for Hope

Ovarian cancer has long been one of the most challenging, hard-to-treat forms of the disease, and, unlike other forms of cancer, has not benefited from recent advances in immunotherapeutic treatments. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. At least 21,290 women in the United States received a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2015 and approximately 14,180 women were expected to die from the disease, according to ACS estimates.

Ovarian cancer has a significant impact globally as well. The World Cancer Research Fund reports that ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer in women worldwide (18th most common cancer overall), with 239,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012. Because it is most often diagnosed in its advanced stage, the prognosis for women with ovarian cancer has been very poor. Historical progression-free survival in ovarian cancer is 10 to 12 months for first-line treatment and 6 to 8 months for second-line treatment.

Complex diseases require groundbreaking approaches.

The underlying biology of ovarian cancer aligns with the anti-cancer mechanism of action (MOA) of our platform, which is why we are focused on developing our lead product candidate, DPX-Survivac, in advanced ovarian cancer. Consider:

  • Our target, survivin, is found in tumors of more than 90 percent of ovarian cancer patients.
  • Research has shown that ovarian cancer can be positively impacted by the activation of T cells–the hallmark of our DPX-Survivac MOA.
  • Combination therapies are emerging as a means to address the complexities of this disease, and we believe that DPX-Survivac is uniquely positioned to be the enabling agent of choice.
  • There is a strong market opportunity as this disease is a severely unmet medical need, in which current treatment options are associated with poor outcomes for patients.