Immunocidin® with Chemotherapy Extends Survival Time in Study with Canine Lymphoma and Osteosarcoma Patients

18 October 2019

Napanee, Ontario – NovaVive Inc., an animal health immunobiology company, is pleased to report that positive data related to its canine cancer immunotherapy was presented today at the Veterinary Cancer Society Annual Conference in Houston, TX. Dr. Jeannette Kelly, veterinary oncologist with Veterinary Cancer Care (an oncology referral clinic in Santa Fe, New Mexico), presented data from her retrospective study investigating concurrent use of chemotherapy and Immunocidin® for the treatment of canine Lymphoma and Osteosarcoma.

Immunocidin is approved in the US and Canada for the intratumoral treatment of mixed mammary (breast) tumors and mammary adenocarcinoma in dogs. The product is a formulation of Mycobacterium Cell Wall Fraction (MCWF) which contains mycobacterial cell walls and bacterial nucleic acid. MCWF has been demonstrated to induce innate immune responses and cell-mediated immunity. It has also been shown that the presence of nucleic acid induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.

Dr. Kelly, who is a board certified oncologist (DACVIM oncology), analysed data retrospectively from 12 dogs – 8 with Lymphoma and 4 with Osteosarcoma - that were treated with at least 2 doses of a diluted form of Immunocidin administered at the same time as chemotherapy between 2016 and 2019. The minimum follow-up after the first Immunocidin treatment was three months, and at the last reviewed follow-up point (September, 2019), five of the dogs (42%) were still alive, including one dog with Lymphoma that had recurred.

Adverse events were mild and primarily consisted of hyperthermia (fever) and lethargy. The dogs with Lymphoma survived from 135 days (4.4 months) to 1,246 days (40.9 months); in the dogs with Osteosarcoma, the survival time ranged from 104 days (3.4 months) to 653 days (21.5 months). The Lymphoma patients received 6 treatments on average, as compared to 15 treatments on average for the Osteosarcoma patients.

Dr. Kelly concluded that Immunocidin has potential as a well-tolerated adjunct to chemotherapy for dogs with these two types of cancer, and she recommends that prospective clinical trials be conducted to evaluate protocols involving concurrent therapy.

“I am encouraged by these results and pleased to see the number of dogs surviving as a result of this treatment protocol,” said Dr. Kelly. “I look forward to working further with Immunocidin, with and without chemotherapy, to assess its efficacy in the treatment of various canine cancers.”

About Canine Lymphoma

This is a malignant cancer that affects the lymphoid system that is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in dogs (Merlo et al. 2008). The annual incidence rate is up to 107 cases per 100,000 dogs (Dobson et al. 2002), and predominantly middle-aged to older dogs are affected. Without treatment, the survival time is 4 – 6 weeks. Systemic chemotherapy is the “standard of care”, and with multi-agent chemotherapy protocols, the median survival time is 10 - 12 months.

About Canine Osteosarcoma

This is an aggressive cancer characterized by bone lesions, with a high propensity for lung metastasis. It is the most commonly diagnosed primary bone tumor in dogs, with an annual incidence rate of 13.9 cases per 100,000 dogs (Rowell et al. 2011). This cancer predominantly affects middle-aged to older dogs. Without treatment, the survival time is 3 – 5 months. With amputation and chemotherapy, the median survival time is 8 – 12 months.

About NovaVive Inc.

NovaVive is a private company founded in July, 2014. The Company has an advanced veterinary immunotherapeutic platform based on mycobacterium cell wall fraction (MCWF) technology with 5 regulator-approved products in the US. One formulation has been developed as an anticancer therapy in dogs and horses. Other formulations have demonstrated the capability of reducing the reliance on antibiotics in the treatment of bacterial diseases of horses and cattle or effectively treating viral equine respiratory disease. The Company’s development plan is to identify additional livestock and companion animal diseases that may be effectively treated with its immunotherapeutic technology platform. For more information about the Company, please visit, or contact:

Graeme McRae, President
Phone: 613-391-3837               


Jennifer Shea, Vice-President
Phone: 613-391-2097


Dr. Jeannette M. Kelly
Phone: 505-982-4492

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