Emerging Company in the Spotlight sponsored by JFK Communications.
Congratulations to Advaxis, Inc. BioNJ’s Emerging Company in the Spotlight for October. Each month we will feature a BioNJ Member who is progressively growing and evolving within the New Jersey biotechnology industry. So many of our Members are making a dramatic impact on our State’s innovative ecosystem. And, for that we say thank you and congratulations. We celebrate you!
Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADXS) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel cancer immunotherapies that use bioengineered Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) bacteria to fight cancer. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, Advaxis is dedicated to improving cancer survival and reducing the frequency and severity of side effects commonly associated with standard chemotherapy and radiation. The company’s investigational immunotherapies are designed based on proprietary technology to capitalize on the body’s natural ability to recognize and attack bacterial infections.
Originally founded in 2002, a new management team was brought on in 2013 to up-list the company to Nasdaq. Advaxis currently retains 35 employees and is committed to growing its operations in New Jersey where there is an excellent talent base and robust pool of thought-leaders to support drug development research and innovation.
For decades, cancer researchers have been working to stimulate the body’s immune system to identify and kill cancer cells, with the goal of creating a standard “immunologic” treatment against tumors that is more effective and more tolerable than traditional chemotherapy or radiation. Lm bacteria is the only known cancer immunotherapy agent shown in preclinical studies to not only generate cancer-fighting T-cells, but also neutralize Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that protect the tumor microenvironment from immunologic attack and contribute to tumor growth.
Advaxis is validating the versatility of its Lm Technology™ platform by evaluating clinical safety and efficacy with three different immunotherapies: axalimogene filolisbac (ADXS-HPV) in HPV-associated cancers, ADXS-PSA in prostate cancer and ADXS-HER2 in HER2 expressing solid tumors, including osteosarcoma, breast cancer, esophageal and gastric cancer.
“We have partnered with leading academic and biopharmaceutical industry leaders on the development of our immunotherapy candidates,” said David J. Mauro, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Advaxis. “We look to expand the candidates in our clinical development pipeline alone and in combination with potentially synergistic technologies with the goal of regulatory approval and commercialization.”
Since inception, Advaxis has prided itself on a culture of innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship. In 2015, the company’s President and CEO, Daniel J. O’Connor, was selected as a winner of the Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year®. This entrepreneurial spirit is evident in Advaxis’s commitment to collaboration. Currently, Advaxis has four commercial partnerships with other major biopharmaceutical companies for the development and commercialization of its proprietary cancer immunotherapies in countries outside the U.S. and for the global animal-health oncology market. Advaxis has created and is developing more than 20 distinct immunotherapies based on its proprietary Lm Technology™, either directly or through strategic collaborations with recognized cancer centers of excellence.
“Advaxis is in pursuit of a treatment for cancer that does not add to the physical, emotional and financial burdens of cancer,” said Daniel J. O’Connor. “We are appreciative of the patients who have enrolled in our clinical trials to date and who play a pivotal role in bringing our cancer immunotherapies to market for the benefit of all Patients.”