BioBuzz: Rockville, Maryland’s Sanaria at Center of an Unlikely Global Health Success Story

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In 2009, a remarkable partnership started with an unsolicited email and a “cold call.”

Ten years later, Rockville, Maryland’s Sanaria and the Bioko Island Malaria Elimination Project (BIMEP) consortium won the P3 Impact Award from a pool of nearly 2,000 applicants, marking a milestone for a unique and remarkable global health consortium that’s turning the tide in the global fight against malaria.

BIMEP, which is the fusion of two impactful malaria programs, started its mitigation efforts in Equatorial Guinea’s (EG) Bioko Island in 2004. Since that time, “BIMEP has succeeded in reducing the rate of transmission of malaria by mosquitoes on Bioko Island by 99%, reducing the prevalence of malaria infection in children 2-14 years old by 76%, and reducing all-cause mortality among children under 5, largely attributable to malaria, by 63%,” according to Sanaria’s website.

The award, which was bestowed at the 2019 Concordia Summit held in New York City at the time of the UN General Assembly, was the latest achievement of the collaboration between Sanaria, Medical Care Development International (MCDI), the government of EG, Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, the Atlantic Methanol Production Company (AMPCO) and a host of other public, private and leading scientific subject matter expert partners. The Concordia Foundation, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business in Society, and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships created the P3 Impact Award to honor leading public-private partnerships that improve communities and the world.

Click here to read more via BioBuzz

Baltimore Sun: University of Maryland Injects Coronavirus Vaccine in First Volunteers, Aiming for Approvals in Fall

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The trial at the university’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health and three other sites in the United States and Germany is for four separate but similar vaccines developed by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and the German biotech company BioNTech. Pfizer planned to announce the U.S. trials Tuesday morning.

“We’re not skipping any steps, but we are speeding them up quite a bit,” said Dr. Kirsten Lyke, an infectious disease expert and the study’s lead investigator in Baltimore. “This vaccine is actually four different vaccines, with testing moving rapidly, head-to-head. … We’re hoping one rises to the top.”

Lyke, a professor of medicine and faculty member at the university’s vaccine development center, said she and other researchers learned a lot from work on quick-moving threats such as the Ebola virus about how to expedite the vaccine trial process.

There are no vaccines or even specific treatments for COVID-19, the disease caused by this coronavirus. With almost 250,000 deaths globally and more than 68,000 in the United States, federal and international regulators have moved with urgency and allowed several vaccine trials to move ahead at unprecedented speed. More than one vaccine likely will be approved and needed to protect billions of people across the globe.

Read more via the Baltimore Sun

Intralytix Receives Multimillion-Dollar Clinical Trial Award From NIAID for Bacteriophage Therapy for Shigella Infections in Humans

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COLUMBIA, Md., May 4, 2020 (Newswire.com) – ​Intralytix, Inc. announced today that it has received a multimillion-dollar grant (AI 148054) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the clinical development of its bacteriophage therapy preparation for managing infections caused by the bacterial pathogen Shigella. Dr. Alexander Sulakvelidze, Executive Vice President of Intralytix and the Program Director of the multi-PI grant, commented, “We are very pleased to have this collaborative opportunity with NIAID. The project will address a significant public health issue, as it is expected to help reduce the burden of disease caused by Shigella. It will also help enhance our program on developing bacteriophage-based therapeutic preparations as complementing modalities to other anti-infectives, such as vaccines and antibiotics, for managing bacterial diseases, including those caused by multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens.” Dr. Sulakvelidze concluded, “This award paves the way for an important clinical study, and also shows that Intralytix continues to demonstrate innovative leadership in successfully developing bacteriophage products for various applications.”

This NIAID-funded project will assess the safety and efficacy of the Shigella bacteriophage preparation developed by Intralytix in Phase 1/2a clinical trials. “We believe that our bacteriophage preparation will help reduce the severity or incidence of disease caused by Shigella,” commented Dr. Jennifer Schwartz, Director of Clinical Development at Intralytix. She noted that “Shigella infections affect approximately 125 million people worldwide each year, with the majority of the 14,000 associated deaths occurring in young children. Bacteriophage therapy has been and is used in Eastern Europe and Asia but has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to the lack of adequate clinical trials. Not only are these Phase 1/2a trials expected to have a public health impact on Shigella infections, but they will also help pave the way for the development of bacteriophage therapies against other important bacterial pathogens, including those having epidemic potential, such as cholera. We look forward to starting this important project in collaboration with the NIAID and our academic collaborators.”

The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of Intralytix and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIAID or the NIH.

About Intralytix Inc.

Intralytix, Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. The Company is focused on using its core bacteriophage technology platform to improve human health through the development and commercialization of innovative products for food safety, animal health, human therapeutics, oral care, cosmetic, and dietary supplements/probiotic applications.

Intralytix was the first company in the world to receive FDA-approval for a bacteriophage-based product for food safety applications. The Company currently has the world’s largest portfolio of FDA-approved bacteriophage-based products on commercial markets and is the largest producer of bacteriophage preparations for food safety applications worldwide. Intralytix is currently sponsoring a clinical trial at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, for which it is IND-holder (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03808103?term=Intralytix&rank=1), and the Company also has several additional human therapeutic bacteriophage products in various stages of development. To learn more, please visit www.intralytix.com or contact Dr. Alexander Sulakvelidze (410-625-2533, asulakvelidze@intralytix.com).

The BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) is Critical to America and the World in Solving Healthcare’s Challenges

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Today we hear phrases such as “In these difficult times” to highlight the challenges of the world with COVID-19 which is on all of our minds. Many industries have been adjusting via telecommuting employees if possible, while others cut back hours, furlough staff, or letting employees go. In the biotech industry and, more specifically, the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR), we have seen a call to action and new collaborations by local key players in our shared mission to find a test, vaccine, and treatment for COVID-19. Before the current healthcare crisis, the BHCR had become the 4th largest biopharma hub in the United States as ranked by Genetic Engineering News in their annual study. We have over 1,000 biohealth companies in the such as AstraZeneca, Emergent, GSK, Qiagen, Novavax, and others, many of which are making valuable contributions during this COVID-19 pandemic as well as what they do in their everyday operations. The region is also the home of National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and their Director, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who has become a Trusted National Treasure. NIH also has 6,000 scientist and 16,000 overall workers in Bethesda, Md. Which makes it the largest basic research institution in the world. We are also home to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which has accelerated approvals in this time of crisis. We also have leading educational and healthcare institutions like the University System of Maryland, John’s Hopkins, George Mason, and Children’s National Health System and many more.

The May 4th edition of the Washington Post features an article titled “Maryland plays an outsized role in worldwide hunt for a coronavirus vaccine” by senior regional correspondent covering government and politics, Robert McCartney. This article highlights the efforts over half-a-dozen companies in the region focused on different aspects of the COVID-19 crisis and how some have begun working together to find solutions faster.

The BioHealth Innovation Team, along with the BioHealth Capital Region Community, are proud of the hard work and research taking place and find that in the face of adversity, the BHCR is coming together and is forgetting about how artificial boundaries like State and County lines, Bridges and Rivers have prevented collaboration in the past.

We will all get through this together.

  • Rich Bendis, President and CEO

Immunomic Therapeutics Founder and CEO Bill Hearl RETURNS to BioTalk!

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He joins BioTalk host Rich Bendis to discuss their recent successes in funding, research, and their growth in the BioHealth Capital Region

Dr. William Hearl is the founder of Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. and is an experienced and successful life science businessman and entrepreneur. Dr. Hearl is adept at brokering mutually beneficial partnerships and identifying non-traditional collaborations and investment opportunities.

The advent of the commercial development of LAMP technology came from discussions between Dr. Hearl and Dr. Tom August at Johns Hopkins University. Based on their mutual vision of the value of LAMP, ITI emerged and began operations in 2006. Dr. Hearl’s extensive experience in intellectual property management and business development led to the reward of a sub-license of the LAMP technology to Geron Corporation within 30 days of initiating operations and subsequent license agreements, valued at over $300 million, in 2015 with Japan-based Astellas for next generation allergy vaccines based on the LAMP platform.

Dr. Hearl is also a founder of Capital Genomix, Inc. (CGI), a Maryland-based biomarker and drug discovery Company and served as its first chief executive officer from inception in 2000 to late 2002 when he assumed the role of chief scientific officer. Dr. Hearl raised seed funds and Series A & B funding for CGI (approximately $5 million in cash/debt). He also acquired the Dynex Technologies division of Thermo Scientific in a leveraged acquisition deal. Dynex was subsequently divested and yielded a remarkable tenfold return to the Company.

Dr. Hearl is also responsible for the acquisition and development of the core technologies of Capital Genomix: GeneSystem320TM was licensed exclusively from MD Anderson Cancer Center and the ImmunoMouseTM was invented by Dr. Hearl. Dr. Hearl also has an established record of scientific productivity over his 20 years of work in the biotech industry. He started his career as a bench scientist at Electro-Nucleonics, Inc. and developed blood based diagnostics for HIV, HTLV-I and Hepatitis C. He later worked at Life Technologies and directed the immunodetection group. Under Dr. Hearl’s direction, the lab developed a number of innovative antibody-based detection kits and reagents. He moved into scientific management when he became the director of research and development at Kirkegaard & Perry Laboratories, Inc. in 1994.

Dr. Hearl earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Tennessee and B.S. from East Tennessee State University.

Listen now via Apple https://apple.co/2KXqUX4, Google https://bit.ly/2SxUjeE, Spotify https://spoti.fi/2z7RQB2, and TuneIn http://bit.ly/2M60Wmx

Click here to download the transcript.

NBC4: Researchers at George Mason Developing Quicker Coronavirus Antibody Test

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Scientists at George Mason University are working to develop an easy-to-administer COVID-19 antibody test, which could mean using a simple swab in the mouth for saliva.

Dr. Lance Liotta works for the Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine Center at GMU. He said they’ve been working on saliva testing for many years and already had a collection device that would work.

“We thought let’s apply our expertise on that topic to that new challenge,” Liotta said.

To use it, you put the swab inside of the mouth and rub it around the cheeks and the gum. You hold it under the tongue and then when it changes color that’s when you know enough saliva was collected, Liotta said.

Once the diagnostic technology is developed the next stop is another specialized lab for patient testing on volunteers.

Read more via NBC4 Washington

Immunomic Therapeutics Announces Close of $61.3M Financing

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-Proceeds to support acceleration of Phase II clinical trial for GBM, advancement of pipeline, including development of COVID-19 vaccine candidate and expansion of opportunities for its UNITE nucleic acid platform-

 

ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., (“ITI”) a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, announced today the close of a $61.3M financing led by HLB Co., LTD, a global pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel cancer drugs. This represents the second closing in the investment process for the HLB Consortium, ($10M was placed in February 2020), and substantially increases their holding in Immunomic Therapeutics to 47.6% of the common stock. HLB also secured an option to make further investment into the company in the months ahead.

“We are pleased to welcome HLB as a significant shareholder of Immunomic Therapeutics and look forward to working with them within the framework of the HLB Bio family of companies. They have a proven track record of success in Asia and share our commitment and passion for developing best-in-class therapies for cancer and other serious diseases,” said Dr. William Hearl, CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics. “With HLB’s support, we are well-positioned to accelerate our efforts in immuno-oncology, in particular glioblastoma multiforme, and rapidly advance other key candidates in our pipeline, including our most recent initiative into infectious diseases with development of our vaccine candidate for COVID-19.”

Proceeds from the financing will support the acceleration of ITI’s Phase II clinical trial of ITI-1000 for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), advance its emerging pipeline, and expand upon the current applications of its UNITE platform. The financing will also enable Immunomic to expand its team and infrastructure to support the future growth of the company.

In addition, ITI and HLB intend to establish an Asian Brain Cancer Research Center in Seoul that will bring together the world’s leading experts and cutting-edge science to advance research in the GBM field and to deploy ITI-1000 to the Asian population. ITI-1000 is a cell therapy powered by ITI’s UNITE platform that is currently being evaluated in a Phase II clinical trial (ATTAC-II) in collaboration with researchers at the University of Florida (Dr. Duane Mitchell) and Duke University (Dr. John Sampson). ITI-1001 is an alternative, cell-free approach to treating GBM. The company held a successful pre-IND meeting earlier this year for ITI-1001 and expects to be able to file an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of 2020.

Concurrent with the financing, five (5) members from HLB Co., LTD will be joining the Immunomic Therapeutics Board of Directors.

About UNITE

ITI’s investigational UNITE platform, or UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression, works by fusing pathogenic antigens with the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein, an endogenous protein in humans, for immune processing. In this way, ITI’s vaccines (DNA or RNA) have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory. This approach could put UNITE technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. UNITE is currently being employed in Phase II clinical trials as a cancer immunotherapy. ITI is also collaborating with academic centers and biotechnology companies to study the use of UNITE in cancer types of high mortality, including cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. ITI believes that these early clinical studies may provide a proof of concept for UNITE therapy in cancer, and if successful, set the stage for future studies, including combinations in these tumor types and others. Preclinical data is currently being developed to explore whether LAMP nucleic acid constructs may amplify and activate the immune response in highly immunogenic tumor types and be used to create immune responses to tumor types that otherwise do not provoke an immune response.

About Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.

Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately-held, clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of vaccines through its proprietary technology platform, UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression (UNITE), which is designed to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop vaccines that generate broad immune responses. UNITE has a robust history of applications in various therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases, oncology, allergy and autoimmune diseases. ITI is primarily focused on applying the UNITE platform to oncology, where it could potentially have broad applications, including viral antigens, cancer antigens, neoantigens and antigen-derived antibodies as biologics. The Company has built a large pipeline from UNITE with six oncology programs and two allergy programs. ITI has entered into a significant allergy partnership with Astellas Pharma and has formed several academic collaborations with leading Immuno-oncology researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, and Duke University. ITI maintains its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.immunomix.com.

Contacts

ITI Company:
Sia Anagnostou
aanagnostou@immunomix.com
717-327-1822

ITI Media:
Amy Conrad
Juniper Point
amy@juniper-point.com
858-366-3243

AGT CEO Jeff Galvin on the Future of the Gene and Cell Therapy Industry

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The rapid growth of biopharma is causing a shift to a new paradigm for the drug development and delivery model. In the same manner that the personal computing industry grew and developed business models that fit the way products were sourced, constructed and delivered, a business model for biopharma is taking shape.

Jeff Galvin, CEO of American Gene Technologies (AGT), had 30 years of business and entrepreneurial experience in Silicon Valley during the formative years of the personal computing and internet era. He left retirement as an Angel Investor in real estate and high tech in 2008 to found AGT and lead it in developing a bank for Lentiviral vectors with different characteristics for use with its gene delivery platform.

The use of these vectors with this platform will save time and money in drug development, Galvin said as he shared his vision for the biopharma industry with BioSpace.

Click here to read more via BioSpace

Emergent BioSolutions Signs Agreement to be U.S. Manufacturing Partner for Johnson & Johnson’s Lead Vaccine Candidate for COVID-19

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  • Emergent will provide contract development and manufacturing services to support Johnson & Johnson’s commitment of one billion doses of vaccine for worldwide emergency pandemic use
  • Agreement valued at approximately $135 million

GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) today announced an agreement whereby Emergent will deploy its contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services to support the manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson’s lead vaccine candidate for COVID-19 that leverages the AdVac® and PER.C6® technologies from the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Robert G. Kramer Sr., president and chief executive officer of Emergent BioSolutions, stated, “When mission-driven organizations combine talents and capabilities, potential solutions to serious issues like COVID-19 become more within reach to benefit patients. We are proud of our collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and are equally committed to our longstanding relationship with the U.S. government. At a time like this, we all need to be working together to achieve maximum results for public health. Emergent is committed to our mission – to protect and enhance life – by advancing our own therapies and helping partner companies advance their programs as well.”

Under the agreement, valued at approximately $135 million, Emergent will provide drug substance manufacturing services with its molecule-to-market CDMO offering, supported by investments from Johnson & Johnson beginning in 2020, and will reserve certain large-scale manufacturing capacity to pave the way for commercial manufacturing of Janssen’s adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine beginning in 2021.

To support Johnson & Johnson’s goal of supplying one billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, a long-term commercial manufacturing agreement is under negotiation for large-scale drug substance manufacturing anticipated to begin in 2021.

Large-scale manufacturing of drug substance for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidate will be done at Emergent’s Baltimore Bayview facility, a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) designed for rapid manufacturing of vaccines and treatments in large quantities during public health emergencies. Emergent’s CIADM is a result of a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Eight years ago, HHS invested in novel public-private partnerships to create three Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing or CIADMs to help strengthen the nation’s biotech infrastructure to prepare and respond to emergencies,” said Gary Disbrow, Ph.D., acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. “Leveraging the capacity available at the Bayview CIADM to speed development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine is precisely how we envisioned these centers be used in pandemic response.”

Syed T. Husain, senior vice president and CDMO business unit head at Emergent, stated, “We share with our partners the same urgency to combat COVID-19 and will leverage our talents, capabilities, and capacities up to 300 million doses to advance this much-needed vaccine candidate and ensure ongoing commercial supply through our CDMO services.”

Emergent’s Bayview facility has unique capabilities across four independent suites to produce at clinical scale to get candidates rapidly into the clinic, while at the same time scaling up to enable large-scale manufacturing to up to 4000L to prepare for production of commercial volumes to meet customer demand. The CIADM has the capacity to produce tens to hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine on an annual basis, based upon the platform technology being used.

About Emergent BioSolutions
Emergent BioSolutions is a global life sciences company whose mission is to protect and enhance life. Through our specialty products and contract development and manufacturing services, we are dedicated to providing solutions that address public health threats. Through social responsibility, we aim to build healthier and safer communities. We aspire to deliver peace of mind to our patients and customers so they can focus on what’s most important in their lives. In working together, we envision protecting or enhancing 1 billion lives by 2030. For more information visit www.emergentbiosolutions.com. Find us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter @emergentbiosolu and Instagram @life_at_emergent.

Emergent’s Response to COVID-19
Emergent BioSolutions is using its decades of experience in vaccine and hyperimmune development and manufacturing, as well as its molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) offerings to provide comprehensive medical countermeasure solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergent is developing two potential treatments, COVID-Hyper Immune Globulin (COVID-HIG), a human plasma-derived therapy candidate for treatment of COVID-19 in severe hospitalized and high-risk patients, and COVID-Equine Immune Globulin (COVID-EIG), an equine plasma-derived therapy candidate for treatment of severe disease. Both candidates are anticipated to be in Phase 2 clinical studies over the summer.

Emergent has announced collaborations with three fellow innovators to develop and manufacture their COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Most recently, Emergent was selected as U.S. manufacturing partner for a vaccine candidate expected to be in a Phase 1 human study by September in support of a goal to produce 1 billion doses of vaccine worldwide. Earlier partnerships include a vaccine candidate expected to be in a Phase 1 study in May and an oral vaccine candidate expected to be in a Phase 1 study in the second half of 2020. For the COVID-19 vaccine collaborations, Emergent’s integrated CDMO network provides development services from its Gaithersburg facility, drug substance manufacturing at its Baltimore Bayview facility, and drug product manufacturing at its Baltimore Camden facility, all in Maryland.

For 22 years Emergent has focused on advancing public health and its multi-pronged approach to tackling COVID-19 demonstrates its commitment to its mission – to protect and enhance life.

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements, other than statements of historical fact, including statements regarding our ability to produce viable COVID-19 vaccine candidates at the prescribed scale and on the anticipated timeline and pave their potential pathway to licensure, as well as the negotiation of another contract related to the second phase of the collaboration and deployment of capacity toward future commercial manufacturing, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our current intentions, beliefs and expectations regarding future events. We cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will be accurate. Investors should realize that if underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could differ materially from our expectations. Investors are, therefore, cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, and, except as required by law, we do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement to reflect new information, events or circumstances.

There are a number of important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including the success of the planned development programs; the timing of and ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for the product candidates; and our commercialization, marketing and manufacturing capabilities. The foregoing sets forth many, but not all, of the factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations in any forward-looking statement. Investors should consider this cautionary statement, as well as the risk factors identified in our periodic reports filed with the SEC, when evaluating our forward-looking statements.

Media Contact:
Miko B. Neri
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
240-631-3392
NeriM@ebsi.com

Investor Contact:
Robert G. Burrows
Vice President, Investor Relations
240-631-3280
BurrowsR@ebsi.com

Emergex Signs Agreement with George Mason University for Highly Pathogenic RNA Virus Studies

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Abingdon, UK, 22 April 2020 – Emergex Vaccines Holding Limited (‘Emergex’), a biotechnology company developing CD8+ priming set-point vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the George Mason University, based in Virginia, in the United States.

The agreement specifies that George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases will provide their unique expertise and resources as a partner in the development of Emergex’s vaccines against highly pathogenic RNA viruses. In particular, George Mason University’s Biosafety 3 capabilities, coupled with their experience in dealing with RNA viruses, means that they are a well-suited collaborator on the vaccine validation studies, as well as the optimization of vaccine design.

Professor Thomas Rademacher, CEO and co-founder of Emergex, commented, “Everyone in the world today has or will be affected by highly pathogenic RNA viruses such as bird flu, Ebola, COVID-19, etc. These viruses have caused significant morbidity and mortality, especially in high-risk groups such as the immunocompromised or elderly. We are therefore very excited to announce today this agreement with George Mason University, which adds an important capability to Emergex’s vaccine program.”

Dr Aarthi Narayanan, Associate Professor of Systems Biology in George Mason University’s College of Science, added, “My colleagues and I are looking forward to partnering with Emergex and we are especially pleased to be lending our expertise to efforts to create a vaccine during these challenging times. As members of the faculty of a premier research university, we work with other thought leaders to address global threats. This is how we make progress, and collaboration is the top priority for the College of Science, the Institute for Biohealth Innovation, and the University as a whole.

Emergex’s set-point vaccines have been designed to offer advantages compared to traditional vaccines. These vaccines modify the initial immune status of the recipients in a way that ‘primes’ their immune systems to recognise subsequent infectious agents much like a natural infection would do, and thus preventing an acute or severe manifestation of the disease. They do this by providing a cell-mediated immune response (a T-cell response) rather than a humoral immune response (an antibody based immune response) which should stimulate longer lasting immunity. They are self-adjuvanted and limit or eliminate the allergic, autoimmune or antibody mediated side effects associated with the traditional vaccines. They are also 100% synthetic and do not contain any RNA or DNA – do not use inactivated or live-attenuated pathogens – and therefore should be inherently safer to develop and use.

About Emergex
Emergex, a UK-based biotechnology company headquartered in Abingdon, UK, is pioneering the development of set-point vaccines to address some of the world’s most immediate health threats such as Dengue Fever, Zika, Ebola, pandemic flu and serious intra-cellular bacterial infections.

These set-point vaccines are population based and modify the initial immune status of recipients in a way that ‘primes’ their immune systems to recognise subsequent infectious agents much like a natural infection would do, preventing an acute or severe manifestation of the disease.

Emergex combines validated technologies together with the very latest scientific insights to develop its vaccines, including using synthetic peptide codes determined on actual infected cells and using a proprietary gold nanoparticle carrier system for programming.

The Company has a growing pipeline of vaccine candidates. The most advanced development programme is a vaccine for Dengue Fever, which may also be disease modifying for other Flaviviruses such as the Zika and Yellow Fever viruses. Emergex also has programmes in development for a universal Influenza vaccine and a universal Filovirus vaccine (including viruses such as Ebola and Marburg) and discovery programmes for a Yellow Fever Booster vaccine and a Chikungunya vaccine.

Find out more online at www.emergexvaccines.com.

About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 37,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

The Institute for Biohealth Innovation (IBI) promotes and supports biohealth-related research activities of faculty, staff, and students at George Mason University. The IBI connects Mason researchers in biohealth with potential collaborators, both within the university and externally, to advance human health research. Learn more and hear more from our researchers at ibi.gmu.edu.

The College of Science at Mason is a leader in scientific discovery creating innovative solutions for the rapidly-changing needs of today’s world. Mason’s College of Science blends traditional science education with sought-after programs in disciplines as diverse as personalized medicine, infectious diseases, geoinformatics, climate dynamics, materials science, astronomy, forensic science, and applied mathematics. The College encourages meaningful education and research at all levels offering innovative undergraduate programs, minors, certificates, and graduate degree opportunities, as well as global, transfer-focused, and online, or hybrid, programs that allow professionals the opportunity to reskill or change careers. Learn more at science.gmu.edu.

George Mason University Biomedical Research Laboratory is one of thirteen Regional Biocontainment Laboratories constructed with funding support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH). The BRL is a state-of-the-art laboratory with biosafety level 3 and aerosolization capabilities where scientists perform pioneering research of infectious diseases, both emerging and potential bio threat agents. Learn more at ncbid.gmu.edu.

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