A reader wrote me at the start of the new year to let me know I'd missed out on one of the most successful comeback stories of 2010. According to my correspondent, David Kaine, Biovest International rebounded from Chapter 11 status shortly after announcing, on November 17, 2010, that they had made a breakthrough in their ACI vaccine called BiovaxID. Phase III trials on the vaccine for Indolent Follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) and Phase II trials for Mantle Cell Lymphoma, had been completed and the company announced their results in December at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. The personalized cancer vaccine was reportedly effective in patients in late stages of NHL which, like prostate cancer, is slow to progress. This is significant as it marks the second ACI treatment shown to effectively fight cancer, after Dendreon's Provenge.
In a Press Release published today on their website, Biovest announced an agreement with the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the City of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and JMS Holdings, LLC, a Minnesota real estate developer, involving funding to build a manufacturing site for BiovaxAD in Coon Rapids, where the company currently leases laboratory space. The personalized cancer vaccine has been granted orphan drug status for at least two types of cancer since last year, however, final approval to market the drug has not yet been received.