Juvaris BioTherapeutics Announces Award of U01 Cooperative Research Partnership from NIAID
Collaboration with Stanford and UC Davis to Focus on Adjuvant Development for the Next Generation of Influenza Vaccines
Pleasanton, CA - July 31, 2007
Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded an estimated $9 million, 5-year grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to develop adjuvants for influenza vaccines. This research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. David Lewis of Stanford University and Dr. Chris Miller of the National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis. The results obtained from research carried out under this cooperative partnership will also be applicable to other viral, bacterial and cancer vaccines using the JuvaVax adjuvant technology currently in development at Juvaris.
The award will examine the mechanism of action of JuvaVax adjuvanted vaccines and apply that knowledge to determine its efficacy when the influenza vaccination and challenge virus are matched as well as when they are mismatched. The collaboration will further examine the adjuvanting of vaccines currently administered in the U.S. as well as whole virus vaccines, which are used in Europe but not currently in the U.S.
"We are pleased to enter into this cooperative research partnership for influenza product development with NIAID," said Martin D. Cleary, Co-founder, President and CEO of Juvaris. "We believe that the JuvaVax adjuvant can decrease the amount of vaccine necessary to induce protective immunity up to fifty-fold, which would be beneficial in cases of limited vaccine supply due to production issues or during an influenza pandemic. Furthermore, experiments have shown more cross-protection when the JuvaVax adjuvant is used with influenza vaccines, which would be useful in situations where the vaccination strain does not match the circulating strain. This award in a highly competitive environment reflects the potential of our technology platform, as well as the quality of our collaborators."
Juvaris BioTherapeutics was created in 2003 to develop an immunotherapeutic product platform for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancers using lipid-DNA complexes. Cationic lipids are formulated with non-coding DNA (plasmid) to create the JuvImmune Immunostimulant, a lipid-DNA complex, which as a single product will have utility in multiple infectious disease and cancer applications. The JuvImmune product has been shown to be at least 50-times more potent at triggering innate immune activation and interferon release than current immune stimulants.
When combined with disease-specific antigens, the technology creates JuvaVax vaccines capable of activating substantial antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses, particularly induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Immunological responses elicited by the lipid-DNA complexes have been successfully demonstrated in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings in a variety of mammals including rodents, rabbits, cats, dogs and non-human primates. This platform provides the opportunity to develop many disease-specific immunotherapy products, for which there are significant unmet medical needs.
The Company recently completed a Series A financing with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as the sole investor. It plans to start two clinical studies in 2008. The first will be a prophylactic vaccine for Influenza A and the second a therapy for chronic Hepatitis B.
Dr. Jeff Fairman, PI of the cooperative research partnership, will be presenting the Juvaris influenza program at the upcoming BARDA industry day, 11:00AM August 3rd at the Fairmont in Washington, D.C.
The Company encourage investment and partnering inquiries and can be reached at their websites @ www.juvaris.com.
Grant E. Pickering
Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc.
863A Mitten Road
650-259-1800 ext. 227