thanks to the funds of the Pnrr, the Molinette hospital in Turin will be able to finance research for the treatment of pancreatic cancer with 950,000 euros, specifically for a brand new DNA vaccine 2.0. The purpose of the funding is to validate ENO3PEP as a second-generation vaccine that can be administered to virtually all patients with pancreatic cancer. First, however, authorization from AIFA must be obtained for the first clinical study on pancreatic cancer patients.
The project will be coordinated by Professor Francesco Novelli. Furthermore, thanks to the funds, three under 40 female researchers will be hired. The objective is to complete the preclinical, toxicity and bio-distribution studies and to collect all the information necessary to obtain authorization from the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA ) for the clinical trial of a second-generation anti-alpha-enolase vaccine. For years, Professor Novelli’s laboratory has been studying the relationship between the immune system and pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive and lethal cancers. These studies led to the identification of a protein overexpressed in pancreatic cancer, alpha-enolase, capable of triggering both an antibody response and the activation of anti-tumour T lymphocytes in patients with pancreatic cancer. This immunostimulatory property has prompted the development of a DNA vaccine that has been shown to be effective, to a greater extent in combination with chemotherapy, in delaying the progression of pancreatic cancer in animal models, without however eradicating it completely.
This funding will put the Research Consortium in a position to complete a translational research path carried out at the Molinette hospital, also thanks to the constant support of the Molinette ONLUS Research Foundation, and to be able to obtain ministerial authorization for the clinical study of the ENO3PEP vaccine and make it thus certainly more attractive to many investors in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.