PROVIDENCE, RI, August 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — EpiVax, Inc. (“EpiVax”), a Rhode Island-based company and recognized leader in the field of computational vaccinology, today announced it has out-licensed its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, EPV-CoV-19, to EpiVax Therapeutics (“EVT”), a New York-based company previously named EpiVax Oncology.
Scientists at EpiVax designed EPV-CoV-19 – a peptide-based, epitope-driven vaccine – utilizing their validated computational toolkit (iVAX), which enabled the selection of sequences representing all circulating SARS-CoV-2 genomes that will drive a T cell-mediated immune response, with the goal of providing recipients with immune system “body armor”, reducing their risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
With in-licensing the COVID-19 vaccine program, EVT is broadening its pipeline and application of its platform beyond its clinical-stage personalized cancer vaccine program. The venture-backed company will provide an ideal environment for funding and development of EPV-CoV-19. The company recently re-organized its executive team in preparation for the pipeline expansion and is raising $3M to support the new program.
Having received a positive pre-IND response from the FDA, EVT is progressing to a clinical trial. It has begun GMP peptide production and is preparing the IND submission in parallel.
Michael Princiotta, CSO at EVT, said, “EVT is pleased to welcome the COVID-19 vaccine program into our pipeline. We are eager to apply our vaccine platform and fundraising experience to advance EPV-CoV-19 into clinical trials.”
Annie De Groot, CEO/CSO and cofounder of EpiVax, said, “The EpiVax team has done a fantastic job in the preclinical research phase. We are confident that EPV-CoV-19 will be safe and effective for frontline healthcare workers. We look forward to working with EVT to accelerate its progress to Phase I and beyond.”
EpiVax has pioneered the use of in silico immunogenicity screening toolkits for therapeutics and vaccines. These toolkits, ISPRI and iVAX, are used for advancing product development at a global roster of companies. See the latest peer-reviewed publications at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00442/full and https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01301/full for more information about recent applications of EpiVax’s in silico vaccine design and protein therapeutic immunogenicity assessment tools.
EVT, founded in 2017, employs a world-leading technology, developed over 22 years by EpiVax, to design vaccines that aim to activate the body’s T cells to cure or prevent disease in the host. EVT’s pipeline includes a COVID-19 vaccine and a personalized bladder cancer vaccine.
Annie De Groot, MD CEO/CSO, EpiVax
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Source: EpiVax, Inc.
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