The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Norwegian pharmaceutical company Ultimovacs ASA Fast Track designation for its experimental product, UV1, as a supplementary therapy to either pembrolizumab or ipilimumab for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma cancer. Headquartered within the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park, Ultimovacs is partnered with the Oslo Cancer Cluster, a nonprofit organization consisting of hospitals, start-ups, patient organizations, and global pharmacy and technology companies. Other drugs on the market, such as Merck’s Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and Bristol Myers Squibb’s nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) are monoclonal antibodies which help to inhibit certain immune-suppressant checkpoint stimulations which in turn also increases immune system activity. Ultimovacs UV1 uses this increased activity to target human telomerase (hTERT) antigens, hoping to lead CD4 helper T cells toward tumor cells in order to trigger an immune system response.
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