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Genital HSV-2 Message from Amgen regarding Immunovex

Discussion in 'Herpes Cure Research' started by Vinnie, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    This is to let everyone know I have received a message from Amgen's Vice President for Research and Development, Dr. Sean Harper, regarding the development of Immunovex, the great promise vaccine developed by Biovex since years ago and currently under Phase I testing in London, UK.

    Please see the last messages on the Thread called Save Immunovex!
  2. Papillon

    Papillon No longer a member

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    What is it suppose to do?
  3. Acesheart

    Acesheart HC Support Provider

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    Hey Vinnie, I read it and once again thank you for the work. Many here feel as I do I'm sure in saying it is wonderful to have you looking out for our h community. Thank you again. It was a pleasure meeting with you in Chat. Take care , keep me posted. Sincerely, Ace. :)
  4. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    Immunovex is still in Phase I trials, apparently it is safe to administer. The estimation is that it will be both therapeutic and prophilactic, meaning that it will immunize a non-HSV2 person against the virus (more certain), while also have a big potential for treating an HSV 2 infected person. The concept of the vaccine is so strong that it is possible it will actually incapacitate the virus by raising a very strong immune response to it.
  5. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    Thank you, I will keep everyone posted on anything that I will find out regarding Immunovex. Keep in contact.
  6. accelerate the response

    accelerate the response No longer a member

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    Did he say what they have let the Trademark expire in the USA? Did he say why they have never published ANY data? Why is it that the phase one trial concluded quite some time ago but ZERO press release? Compare and contrast Genocea and Agenus who regularly update an investment audience. Please don't misunderstand me - I would be DELIGHTED if Immunovex worked, I am just rather sceptical about Amgen's methods if it does. Do you think the Guy who replied to you would be more specific?
  7. GntiNh

    GntiNh Staff Member

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  8. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    Hi there and thanks for your message. I do believe that the Vice President of Amgen, Dr. Sean Harper, responded to my inquiry because I have also written to their medical team twice, to their President, as well as to their Compliance Vice President. I believe he felt sort of compelled to respond. I do believe he will not be more specific than this for the time being.
    However, I do believe is is honest in that there is a good chance they are still in phase I testing soon to end and they acknowledge the largely unmet medical need for an efficient anti-HSV 2 treatment/cure.
    They did not publish anything until now because Immunovex is not a product they initiated. They bought it part and parcel with Oncovex, the Phase I trial for Immunovex was already half way through in 2011, they probably wanted to see the final results first.
    I had personally contacted by phone and in person two different researchers/doctors at St. Sthepens in London, who both said they completed the testing in January and handed over the results to Amgen. New info from the UK herpes association says the last volunteer was injected in June 2012. It might be true, maybe those two doctors/researchers told me they finished the testing only to get rid of me and my request to become a volunteer.
    I also believe Amgen is not equally dedicated to Immunovex as other companies (Genocea, Vical, Agenus) are to their anti-HSV 2 products under development because Amgen took over it from BioVex without necessarily being interested in it (They bought BioVex for the Oncovex anti-cancer vaccine based on a genetically engineered HSV 1 - labial - virus).
    They might have allowed the Immunovex trade mark expire in the US because they will probably rename the product if they decide to go ahead with it. Even Oncovex is now called "talimogene laherparepvec" after being taken over by Amgen. They can call Immunovex anything they please if they decide to pursue the project.
    There are two elements that make me believe there is a reasonable chance that Immunovex will be further developed. Firstly, the product is apparently safe to administer (from informal information coming from London based sources), and secondly, Amgen acknowledges the largely unmet medical need and highlight the due attention they are ready to give to Immunovex. I am not saying that Phase II is a safe bet, but there is a good chance it will happen (my own estimation, I must admit).
  9. accelerate the response

    accelerate the response No longer a member

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    Vinnie, thanks for such a thoughtful response. I surely hope you are right and that Amgen see the enormous benefit that an effective therapeutic vaccine would bring to humankind, literally. If it worked there would be a public relations storm and a massive demand. Right now, I have a strong suspicion that people are diagnosed, go into a state of deep shock, take their valacyclovir and then do their best to "Keep Calm and Carry On" as the contemporary saying has it. Does everyone disclose? No, I am sure they don't. The take the white pill, follow the UK HVA (herpes virus association) advice (that its a matter for you alone to know, its only a "little virus" and anyone who sleeps with you is in effect in a state of 'caveat emptor' - buyer beware), and pretend it's all under control. Facing the truth is just too awful - that you SHOULD ALWAYS DISCLOSE, effectively quarantining yourself for eternity, is a step too far. If an effective therapy existed there would suddenly be people by the tens of thousands across USA and Europe going to a clinic or medical practitioner admitting the truth and begging for relief at last, indeed worldwide.

    It may well be the handover from Biovex to Amgen that has muted any info about Immunovex but it still seems odd that there's never been any data or a research paper that I can find. Perhaps you could press them some more?

    Kind regards, accelerate.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  10. GntiNh

    GntiNh Staff Member

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  11. accelerate the response

    accelerate the response No longer a member

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    Me neither which is why I am suspicious that it didn't work and Amgen just want to quietly drop it.
  12. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    If you are in the UK, why don't you try to call this clinical trials government agency/authority to kindly ask them about the testing of Immunovex? I find it strange it is not listed on this website.
  13. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    Amgen might as well drop it if it does not hold any profit promise, if it is not economically viable. However, I doubt they will not inform in any way. If they don't post anything on their website by November, I will let their top managers know that I will write to NY Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, CNN, ABC, all big American media, asking them to run investigative stories on how a big pharma muddles through ethics, trials and fails its publicly declared mission of working for the benefit of patients.
    I find it very weird, strange, that Immunovex is not listed on the UK Government trials website. Maybe you guys could call them up to ask about it. The Immunovex Phase I trials were carried at the Westminster and Chelsea Hospital (NHS institution), at the St. Stephens Centre there. The trials were initiated by Biovex in 2010.
  14. GntiNh

    GntiNh Staff Member

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    That's what I found odd as I saw the trials were being carried out in the UK but I can't find any information.
  15. accelerate the response

    accelerate the response No longer a member

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    I called them, St Stephens that is, they said the trial was over and would not give any more info. I asked did it work and was told they did not know.....
  16. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    St. Stephens cannot say more, think of it like this: they are subcontractors, they are paid to test it, they deliver a service, they cannot disclose information. It is very clear, they do not owe anyone anything, except their employer (contractor), which is Amgen/Biovex. St. Stephens does not own the vaccine, they did not develop it, they just tested it, under a contract with Biovex, and then the contract was carried on by Amgen, after Biovex was incorporated. I have also contacted St Stephens, they told me the same thing.
    The issue here is, why isn't the British Government authority (the UK equivalent of the US FDA), in charge of vaccine an drugs trials, saying anything about this test on their website?! This is totally strange, since any trial in the UK has to be registered with them!
    What I meant was call the UK authority in charge of aproving trials to find out why the St. Stephens trial of Immunovex, contracted by Biovex/Amgen, is not on their website. This is very unusual.....
  17. wwdamron

    wwdamron Well-Known Member

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    I am sure they will release more info when they are ready. Time to move on to the next company, if all of you here that have put so much energy into this, just imagine what you might be able to find out about the other 30 plus companies/researchers working on things.
  18. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    Immunovex and HerpV are the only two genetically enginered vaccines in Phase I clinical trials, close to Phase II ( please correct me if I am wrong). Agenus is open and transparent about HerpV, Amgen is not about Immunovex.
    This is a 50%-50% situation, if Immunovex is scrapped, then we are all 50% farther from a promising product that might as well be a cure (one cam never know), possibly hitting the market in 3 to 5 years from now. As a comprison, the research at Duke University (very promising as well) by Prof. Bloom, is estimated to go into clinical trials in 2015 only (they are not even in preclinical now)!!! Immunovex and HerpV are already close to completion of Phase I clinical trials already. Amgen is a multi-billion dollar company, which can finance Phase II for Immnovex without a problem, testing globally, in different locations. As a comparison, Prof. Bloom need 1 million dollars to go into pre-clinicals!!!
    Therefore, I am a pittbull for Immunovex. I will fight for it with everything I have. This is not a question of "finding out" about a promising anti-HSV product, it is about letting know a global pharm they cannot keep silent about a great promise product and cannot scrap it silently,without an explanation. It might sound naive and idealistic,but I am ready to go a lo g way.
    A good pill from Aicuris might be out out in 3 years, way much better than Valtrex, but if Immunovex can be an actual cure (one can never know, the concept is very strong), them it is worth not letting go.
    If Amgen does not announce anything in 5 months from now, I will take it up with all big US media. They have to either take Immnovex to Phase II, or offer a damn Bold explanation vor scrapping it! They should be seara of it!
  19. Vinnie

    Vinnie Active Member

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    Amgen has to either take Immunovex into Phase II clinical trials or offer a damn good explanation for scrapping it! There is no middle ground about it! Out of only 2 genetically engineered vaccines close to Phase II clinical trials, the progress of one of them is obscured by a global pharma that claims it works for the benefit of patients!!!
    I do not have another 20 years to spend waiting, researchers at Biovex already achieved a lot by designing Immunovex!!! We should not let go of it! I wil personally not!
  20. sen

    sen Active Member

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    Exactly Vinnie,

    You can count myself on this crusade. It will take some time but the answer is on how much we as a community can show our intents and perseverance.
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