San Diego-based Batu Biologics has received approval from the FDA to proceed with human testing -- Phase 1 clinical trials -- of ValloVax, its cancer immunotherapy.

ValloVax is designed to stimulate an immune response against blood vessels that feed tumor growth.

In preclinical studies with animal models, published in peer-reviewed literature, Batu showed that ValloVax effectively treats lung, colon, breast, brain and skin cancer.

To the company’s knowledge, this is the first polyvalent immunotherapy cleared by the FDA that targets the blood vessels that fuel cancer.

“Blood vessel formation is associated with malignancy and metastatic activity in established tumors, and ValloVax may have clinical benefit in treating multiple cancers,” said Alan Lewis, chairman of Batu Biologics.