Entest BioMedical Inc. plans to get its immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine for dogs, ImenVax, on the market within 12 months, the La Mesa, Calif., company said Tuesday during a blogcast.
The vaccine would mark Entest BioMedical’s entry into the veterinary market.
One out of three to four dogs will develop cancer and 50 percent of dogs older than 10 will get cancer, according to David Koos, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Entest BioMedical.
“This is a huge market,” he said.
Entest BioMedical recently adopted a “veterinary first” approach with its research and products. This means the company’s primary focus will be on the veterinary market, not the human market as it was previously. The shift, according to Koos, will help Entest BioMedical get to market and generate revenue faster than if the company focused on human trials. Koos noted that getting animal products to market is easier than with human products because of different regulatory structures.
Ultimately, data the company generates from its animal studies can support human trials, either from Entest BioMedical or through partnerships, Koos said.
The company’s immediate focus is the veterinary oncology market with ImenVax I, II and III. As described by the company, the immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine uses an encapsulation device as the delivery system and requires a simple implant procedure. The vaccine uses the animal’s cancer cells to induce an immune response.
Treatment, in short, involves taking a piece of the dog’s tumor, processing it with a “treatment cocktail,” placing it in a small encapsulation device and implanting the device into the dog. This triggers the dog’s immune response, giving the dog a way to attack the tumor, according to Koos.
“It really shows the direction we feel how cancer treatment is moving in the future,” Koos said.
Entest BioMedical is about to undergo a 10-dog safety study required for marketing ImenVax I. Once the study is completed, Koos said, he expects the product to be in the market within 12 months. The company will then work on similar vaccines, ImenVax II and III.
As part of the product rollout, Entest BioMedical plans to acquire a handful of veterinary clinics to serve as distribution channels for the vaccine as well as be a revenue source to support research and development. The company has identified five veterinary clinics in California as possible acquisition candidates, though their names were not disclosed.
Each clinic acquisition candidate generates up to $1 million in revenue a year, according to Koos. The five clinics would collectively have about 800 canine patients a year. Koos said he anticipates treating the 800 patients at $3,000 per dog.
“You can do the math,” Koos said. “There is a very attractive revenue stream in addition to the revenue stream that is provided by the clinics being integrated into the system.”
After acquiring the clinics, Entest BioMedical plans to operate its own veterinary oncology center.
One of the company’s long-term goals is to work on a stem cell therapy treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Thoroughbred race horses. The development is about 36 months away, Koon said.
Bio-Matrix Scientific Group Inc. is the majority owner of Entest BioMedical.