Innovest Global (USA), a diversified holding company with operations in commercial and industrial products and services, launched its anticipated Biotechnology & Health Services Division with the acquisition of a twenty percent interest in StemVax Therapeutics, a Translational Biotechnology Company that is currently developing a cancer vaccine therapy that enhances the patient’s immune response against brain tumors.
StemVax Glioblast is a cancer vaccine, which is a medication that stimulates or restores the immune system’s ability to fight an existing cancer by strengthening the body’s natural defenses against the cancer cells. It is a meaningful technology, which could significantly improve the quality of life and prognosis for the many people who suffer from brain tumors.
Different than Innovest’s wholly owned operating companies, the StemVax business model is one that enables Innovest to have a stake in potentially valuable intellectual property, which StemVax will attempt to proliferate by licensing to well established health research organizations experienced with taking such products to market.
Dr. Dwain Morris-Irvin, President of Innovest’s new Biotechnology & Health Services Division, founded StemVax in 2014, and is its Chief Science Officer. Dr. Morris-Irvin’s PhD is in Pharmacology and Developmental Neuroscience with an emphasis on neural stem cell fate and differentiation. His research focused on neural development and Notch Signaling in mammalian neural stem cells. He also worked as an NIH/NINDS Post-Doctoral Fellow in Dr. Anders Bjorklund laboratory in Lund, Sweden. There, his focus was on research projects that investigated the potential role of cell replacement therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease. They developed several protocols for the efficient generation of dopaminergic neurons from forebrain and ventral midbrain stem and progenitor cells.
Additionally, Dr. Morris-Irvin led research investigations in the role of adaptive immunity in Parkinson’s disease. He also developed two patents in the area of immunotherapy for brain tumor patients, specifically Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). His research team focused on molecular mechanisms that impart therapeutic resistance in cancer cells, including cancer stem cells. They utilized this data to develop novel immunotherapies for brain tumor patients.