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Avicine was originally developed by a biotech company called AviBiopharma. It was tested as an anti-cancer vaccine which an objective of stimulating an immune reaction to the tumor associated antigen human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Research behind the drug
Avicine is a synthesized formulation of peptides that was originally developed and tested in the 1990s, to create an unstable environment for hCG-producing cancer cells. By joining peptides together with diphtheria toxoids, the AVICINE formulation was designed to cause a specific immune response to hCG.
Common elements between pregnancy and cancer
During pregnancy, women naturally generate the hCG hormone which stimulates growth and protects the developing fetus from auto-immune attack, therefore making the pregnancy successful. Some cancer cells are known to produce hCG also, and this was the hypothesis prompting several researchers to consider an anti-hCG vaccine in cancer treatment. In both Cancer and pregnancy hCG :
- encourages rapid cell division
- musters development/reaction and tissue invasion
- promotes formation of blood vessels
- Allows tumor or fetus to cancel rejection by suppressing the immune system
The hypothesis of an anti-hCG vaccine is to modulate an immune response against malignant cells.
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