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IVS-2001 : A DNA vaccine targeting cancer

A DNA vaccine targeting a specific cancer marker

Cancer cells produce an enzyme which is key to their unlimited proliferation, but is nearly never expressed in normal cells. This enzyme is the telomerase.

IVS-2001 is a human telomerase DNA-based anti-cancer vaccine. It aims at mobilizing the immune system against the human telomerase complex (named hTERT), which is overexpressed in 90% of human tumors, but is virtually absent from normal cells.
The vaccine’s effect is twofold. First, it activates the CD8+ Cytotoxic T cells, also called killer T Cells, which are capable of killing cancer cells. Second, it also turns on CD4+ T helper cells, which regulate the immune response and stimulate the cytotoxic T cells.

IVS-2001 completed its Phase I trial in various advanced cancer indications in June 2018, demonstrating satisfying safety and immune responses.

Invectys Inc. is using the needle-free injection system (NFIS) Tropis to reduce patient discomfort.
In addition to its development, Invectys is working on combining IVS-2001 and other anti-cancer therapies. IVS-2001 could significantly increase the efficiency of other anti-cancer products, particularly Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.

Below is additional information on IVS-2001:

IVS-2001 Mechanism of Action

  • Intradermal (ID) NFIS administration (A)
  • Plasmid penetration in APCs is enhanced by electroporation or needle-free injection system (B)
  • Expression of hTERT protein, Degradation into small peptides, Presentation on MHC class I and II molecules, Stimulation of hTERT-specific CD4 and CD8 immune responses (C)
  • CTL-mediated lysis of tumor cells presenting substantial amount of class-I restricted hTERT peptides (D)


IVS-2001 Phase I clinical information

IVS-2001 completed a Phase I trial in various cancers in June 2018.

I – Study Design

26 patients with various cancer indications, divided into cohorts of increasing dosage, with each group receiving at least 3 cycles of immunotherapy.
Objectives were to assess toxicity, tolerance, safety and immune responses; as well as efficiency and immune response duration.

II – Study Results

Preliminary results were presented in posters at ESMO 2018, ASCO 2019 and CICON 2019.
Full results were published in an article titled « A First-in-Human Phase I Study of INVAC-1, an Optimized Human Telomerase DNA Vaccine in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors » in Clinical Cancer Research.



A glossary is available for technical definitions.