Local start-up Agilvax announced that it is collaborating with biotech company Integrated BioTherapeutics (IBT) to develop new vaccines for the Ebola and Marburg viruses. Agilvax is commercializing virus-like particle (VLP) technology developed at the University of New Mexico by Drs. David Peabody and Bryce Chackerian from the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology. Using the VLP technology, Agilvax rapidly identifies and develops ideal vaccine candidates that can be manufactured at low cost. IBT uses an integrated multidisciplinary approach to discovering and developing vaccines, focusing on emerging infectious diseases and biodefense targets such as Ebola, Marburg, and MRSA. To read more about the collaboration and companies, see the Agilvax press release, reprinted below.
Agilvax Announces Strategic Collaboration with Integrated BioTherapeutics to Develop a Novel Pan-Ebola Vaccine
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – July 20, 2015 – Agilvax, Inc. today announced a collaboration with Integrated BioTherapeutics (IBT), a leader in filovirus and other emerging infectious disease research, to develop novel vaccines against filoviruses such as Ebola and Marburg. Agilvax will employ IBT’s Pan-Ebola and Pan-Filovirus monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to affinity select virus-like-particle (VLP) vaccine candidates from its extensive VLP library. The goal of the collaboration is to identify VLP vaccine candidates that will induce high-titer, specific, and broadly protective antibody responses that mimic IBT’s mAbs.
Agilvax’s capability to rapidly progress a candidate through the preclinical development process (six months), combined with cost-effective manufacturing, no need for adjuvant, and no cold chain requirements ensures the competitiveness of novel pan-filovirus vaccine candidates.
There are no approved vaccines or therapeutics for filoviruses at this time. The current West African Ebola epidemic has caused 11,000+ deaths. Current vaccine candidates are mostly specific to the Zaire species of Ebola (the causative agent of the 2014 outbreak), while there are additional species of Ebola as well as the related Marburg virus that can cause fatal disease in humans. Considering the unpredictable nature of the next outbreak, the development of vaccines that would broadly protect against multiple filoviruses is critically important. After the discovery stage, Agilvax aims to move its filovirus vaccine candidates into systematic translational development as a countermeasure against future filovirus outbreaks.
Agilvax, Inc. (http://www.agilvax.com/) is a biotechnology company focused on developing vaccines targeting infectious diseases and immunotherapies to combat cancer utilizing its proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) platform technology. The company has a pipeline and platform that is based on VLPs derived from RNA bacteriophage that have been engineered to incorporate and display novel antigenic epitopes. The platform allows the company to rapidly identify ideal VLP candidates, moving through preclinical proof of concept in just a few months. The Company was founded in 2011 and has headquarters in Albuquerque, NM, USA.
Integrated BioTherapeutics, Inc. (http://www.integratedbiotherapeutics.com/) is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery of novel vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases. IBT’s pipeline includes promising product candidates for several bacterial and viral infections. IBT’s antibacterial program is focused on the development of a multivalent vaccine for staphylococcal infections primarily by targeting toxins produced by S. aureus. IBT’s antiviral pipeline includes candidate vaccines and antibody therapeutics for Hepatitis C Virus and viral hemorrhagic fevers caused by the deadly Ebola and Marburg viruses.
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