Juvaris BioTherapeutics Announces Strategic Collaboration with Antigen Discovery, Inc.
Leading Vaccine Adjuvant Developer Taps Cutting-Edge Antigen Discovery Engine
Burlingame, CA - June 29, 2009
Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc. a biotechnology company developing adjuvanted vaccines for infectious diseases, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement with Antigen Discovery, Inc. (ADi) to access ADi's proprietary high-throughput protein microarray screening system to discover novel disease-specific antigens to fuel Juvaris' vaccine pipeline. Juvaris will sponsor research for multiple disease targets and pay ADi upfront payments, development milestones and royalties on licensed products in exchange for full product development rights to all fields except diagnostics, which will belong to ADi.
"Access to the ADi platform is a critical step in Juvaris' mission to become the preeminent private vaccine company," said Grant Pickering, President and Chief Executive Officer of Juvaris. "The assembly of cutting-edge antigen discovery with our best-in-class adjuvant technology is a significant event for Juvaris and puts us in a unique position to develop a full range of high-value vaccines to prevent or treat infectious diseases."
ADi's antigen discovery platform involves assaying the entire proteome of a disease target to identify every possible protein antigen. The selected antigens are derived from reactive antibodies generated by infected individuals and therefore mimic the presence, accessibility, and antigenicity of relevant proteins from the particular pathogens in humans. This process distinguishes antigens that best stimulate the immune system and are thus ideal targets for vaccine and diagnostic development. ADi has successfully identified and refined more than 1,500 immunodominant and serodiagnostic antigens via the screening of thousands of human subjects across dozens of pathogens. Through the collaboration, Juvaris will select the optimal antigens from the ADi discovery efforts to combine with its proprietary adjuvant technology to create highly immunogenic prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against major unmet medical needs.
"This broad collaboration with Juvaris allows us to leverage our validated antigen discovery engine for vaccine development," said Keith B. Hoffman, Ph.D., head of business development for ADi "After screening thousands of patient samples, we have proven the utility of our platform across multiple infectious diseases. We very much look forward to working with Juvaris to discover important antigens to facilitate not only vaccine development to prevent or treat disease, but also diagnostics to manage disease."
Infectious diseases result in a quarter of worldwide deaths each year. The majority of diseases where vaccines have not been developed to date are highly complex organisms that require novel technologies, such as ADi's, to facilitate discrimination of protective antigens from a large number of non-protective antigens.
Juvaris' lead adjuvant, JVRS-100, is a cationic lipid-DNA complex that has been shown in clinical development to induce significant CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell mediated immune responses and improved antibody responses without additive toxicity. Research indicates that the mechanism of action of JVRS-100 is distinct from other known adjuvants. JVRS-100 self-assembles with disease-specific antigens and thus serves as both an immunostimulant and vaccine delivery vehicle. JVRS-100 is in development in vaccine constructs targeting multiple infectious diseases.
Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage company developing adjuvanted vaccines and immunotherapeutics to treat infectious diseases and cancer. The Company's lead product candidate, JVRS-100, is currently in clinical development as an adjuvant to improve the efficacy of seasonal influenza vaccines in the elderly population. The Company is also developing vaccines for HSV-2, universal flu and pandemic flu. Juvaris completed a Series A financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and has been awarded multiple NIH grants.
About Antigen Discovery Inc.
Antigen Discovery Inc. is a privately held biotech company with a proven technology platform that harnesses advanced bioinformatics, genomics and proteomics to discover biomarkers for improved and novel diagnostic products, vaccines and therapeutic proteins. ADi has partnerships with The Gates Foundation, The Centers for Disease Control, FIND Diagnostics, NIH, NIAID, InBios International, SBRI, Kaketsuken, UC Irvine, the Public Health Research Institute, and the US Navy. More information about the Company can be obtained at: www.antigendiscovery.com.
Grant E. Pickering
Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc.
866 Malcolm Road, Suite 100
650-259-1800 ext. 227