Seattle lab’s vaccine could be cancer breakthrough

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

By: John Knicely


Etubics Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company in Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, is moving forward after a major breakthrough in treating cancer patients. A new type of treatment more than doubled the life span of some cancer patients.

Now, the lab has the backing of the National Cancer Institute in testing its immunotherapy for cancer patients.

Etubics more than doubled the life span of advanced stage colorectal cancer patients using a new vaccine with a new delivery method.  Now NCI will spend tens of millions of dollars in Phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials.

“We anticipate the results are going to be even better, and I’ll tell you why,” said Dr. Frank Jones, Etubics CEO. “The National Cancer Institute is giving us two more drugs that we’ll be adding to the drug we used in our trials.”

Biopharmaceutical companies are able to use vaccines to give a cancer patient cells that attack the cancer cells, but the vaccine is only part of the story.

The new treatment will be used beyond surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Previously they had to take cells out of the cancer patient’s body, then apply the vaccine, and put the cancer killer cells back into the patient’s body. So this is another major advancement. The new delivery method is just like a flu shot. It’s a one-time shot of the vaccine right into the patient’s body to induce cancer killer cells.

Under the new trials, they’re targeting more types of cancer.

“We’ll be able to treat a lot more kinds of cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer,” said Jones. “If all goes well, and we hope it does, we should have it in the hands of oncologists within three years.”