Precision Virologics Enters License Agreement with Washington University to Develop Biologically Targeted Vaccines for Zika and Chikungunya
Saint Louis, MO – March 21, 2017 – Precision Virologics, a biotech company developing biologically targeted vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, today announced that the company has entered a license agreement with the Office of Technology Management, the tech transfer arm of Washington University.
“Precision’s technology will provide the next-generation vaccines for emerging infectious diseases. PV-ZIKV, our vaccine candidate for Zika, has significant advantages over competitors, including the lack of cross-reactivity among flaviviruses and increased potency. Precision’s pipeline includes PV-CHIK, a vaccine candidate for Chikungunya. Precision platform technology has a fast turnaround and can potentially be used for rapid vaccine development for the next emerging disease.” said Precision’s CEO, Daniel Katzman.
The research work of David T. Curiel, MD, PhD, led to the development of Precision’s core technology – an adenoviral vector with camelid antibodies directed towards activated dendritic cells, carrying proprietary antigen epitopes towards the target pathogen. “Our ability to target dendritic cells, a key antigen presenting cell, results in an increased potency. The ability to accomplish precise re-targeting of adenoviral vectors has been a holy grail of the gene therapy and vaccine fields. Precision’s unique technology to accomplish this goal now makes possible vaccine agents which are targeted to the key biologic axes relevant to orchestrating effective immune responses.”
Precision will benefit from unique resources in the St. Louis business and academic ecosystems including links to the Washington University Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy and the St. Louis University Center for Vaccine Development. The former provides access to unique and stringent animal models for accessing vaccine efficacy. The latter provides key NIH-supported infrastructure for human vaccine trials.
About Precision Virologics
Precision Virologics’ biologically targeted adenovirus vaccines provide a new approach to the expanding threat of emerging infectious diseases. Emerging infectious diseases represent a grave threat to global health, agriculture and the economy. Zika infection continues to be a national healthcare priority. The markets for Zika vaccines is estimated at well over one billion dollars. The NIH and pharma companies rushed to the clinic with sub-optimal vaccines for Zika. Particularly they share a potentially fatal flaw related to the cross-reactivity with Dengue, which may limit their potential to get approved. The cross-reactivity of existing Zika vaccines may leave vaccinated individuals subject to a significantly more severe reaction to Dengue. Precision’s technology embodies critical advantages over competitors both in terms of potency and lack of cross-reactivity with Dengue. For more information, please visit www.precisionvx.com.
About Washington University Office of Technology Management
The Washington University Office of Technology Management (OTM) assists WU faculty in the transfer of technology from the lab to the global marketplace. Located in the Cortex district of St. Louis, OTM manages a wide variety of intellectual properties arising from research programs throughout Washington University. OTM acts as a resource for faculty in the areas of patent prosecution, material transfer agreements, marketing, and licensing. For more information on OTM, please visit otm.wustl.edu.