Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme which is involved in the DNA replication of the cell cycle. The enzyme is over-expressed in majority of human cancers including 90% of advanced pancreatic cancer patients and therefore is a natural therapeutic target in the treatment of cancer.
The over-expression of Telomerase enables the cancer cells to overcome mortality and therefore be a major contributing factor to progression of cancer. Telomerase is one of the body's own proteins and therefore not recognised or attacked by the immune response. The GV1001 vaccine targets the over-expressed telomerase by enabling the immune response to recognise the enzyme and illicit an immune response against it. As telomerase is over expressed in majority of cancers and plays a leading role in the mortality of cancer cells, GV1001 could in future become a common cancer vaccine.