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Scientists From The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and CEL-SCI Present




 

VIENNA, Va. and NEW ORLEANS -- Scientists from the laboratory of Dr. Noel Rose in The Johns Hopkins University Department of Pathology and CEL-SCI CORPORATION (Amex: CVM) today presented at the Experimental Biology 2002 meeting, data that could lead to development of a treatment for autoimmune myocarditis, a life threatening heart disease, characterized by an enlarged heart. This data showed that the symptoms of autoimmune myocarditis in a mouse model can be significantly reduced by immunization with a compound developed by CEL-SCI. These findings may lead to the preparation of a therapeutic vaccine, which could reduce the severity and/or prevent progression of autoimmune myocarditis. Myocarditis is a precursor to dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition leading to a form of chronic heart failure (CHF) characterized by an inflamed heart. At the end stage of CHF, a heart transplant is required or death ensues. The incidence in the United States alone of dilated cardiomyopathy is about 200,000 people.

Dr. Rose's team evaluated administration of a peptide construct incorporating CEL-SCI's patented technology, L.E.A.P.S. (Ligand Epitope Antigen Presentation System), in the well-established A/J mouse model of Experimental Autoimmune Myocarditis. The L.E.A.P.S. construct treated mice showed significant amelioration of disease symptoms and a marked, statistically significant decrease in the average disease severity scores from >2 (5 being maximal severity) in untreated animals to 0.78 (p=0.01) in animals treated with the construct prior to disease induction. In addition, the cytokine profile induced by immunization with the L.E.A.P.S. construct changed to a Th1 (cellular) type from the Th2 (humoral) type normally found in animals with the autoimmune myocarditis condition.

The most well known autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and Graves Disease. A common thread among these diseases is an immune response that "perceives" the persons' own body, cells and organs as foreign. This in turn, results in relentless attacks by the person's own immune system against his/her own body, eventually leading to debilitating sickness, and occasionally to death. If the L.E.A.P.S. is shown to reduce disease in the animal model for myocarditis, when administered after disease induction, additional studies will be conducted in animals to test this novel approach for the treatment of other autoimmune diseases.

L.E.A.P.S. is a novel T-cell modulation platform technology that enables CEL-SCI to design and synthesize proprietary immunogens. L.E.A.P.S. compounds ("constructs") consist of a peptide epitope associated with a disease-causing agent linked to a T-cell binding peptide ligand (TCBL). Together they induce the immune system to mount either a cellular (e.g., T-cell), humoral (antibody) or a mixed immune response as a means to treat, control or prevent disease. Therefore, L.E.A.P.S. is thought to be a delivery vehicle that directs or controls the immune response to the desired outcome. This ability to preferentially direct the immune system is a major breakthrough. Any diseases for which antigenic epitope sequences have been identified, such as infectious diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergic asthma and allergy, are potential candidates for this technology. More information on L.E.A.P.S. is available at http://www.cel-sci.com .

This work was supported in part by a grant from the state of Maryland Industrial Partnership (MIPS) program.

CEL-SCI Corporation is developing new immune system based treatments for cancer and infectious diseases. Its lead product, Multikine(TM), is in Phase II clinical studies against head & neck cancer and Phase I clinical studies for HIV-infected women with cervical dysplasia. The Company has operations in Vienna, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland.

When used in this report, the words "intends," "believes," "anticipated" and "expects" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, an inability to duplicate the clinical results demonstrated in clinical studies, timely development of any potential products that can be shown to be safe and effective, receiving necessary regulatory approvals, difficulties in manufacturing any of the Company's potential products, inability to raise the necessary capital and the risk factors set forth from time to time in CEL-SCI Corporation's SEC filings, including but not limited to its report on Form 10- K for the year ended September 30, 2001. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revision to these forward-looking statements, which may be made to reflect the events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.



 


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Information in this article was accurate in April 23, 2002. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.