PROVIDENCE, RI, April 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — EpiVax, Inc., is using advanced computational tools to accelerate a COVID-19 vaccine candidate (EPV-CoV19) for healthcare workers (HCW) into clinical trials in 6 months. Today, EpiVax announces its partnership with GAIA Vaccine Foundation (“GVF”) to crowd-source funds for the project and its pledge to make a free license available to developing countries who qualify, in the context of this partnership.
EPV-CoV19 is a peptide-based, epitope-driven vaccine that can be rapidly and safely produced in most countries. Applying EpiVax’s expertise enabled the selection of sequences representing all circulating SARS-CoV-2 genomes that will drive a T cell-mediated immune response, providing HCW with immune system “body armor”, reducing their risk of morbidity and mortality. EPV-CoV19 will enter US clinical trials once funds have been raised ($1.75M).
GVF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, will enable private citizens and foundations to contribute to development of EPV-CoV19. GVF’s mission is to reduce incidence of infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the under-served and promote the development of globally relevant, accessible vaccines that can be distributed on a not-for-profit basis in the developing world. Annie De Groot, MD, EpiVax CEO/CSO, states “The soul of each company will be revealed during this crisis. Personally, I do not believe this is the time to become a billionaire. Each of us should do what we do best to reduce the impact of COVID-19 globally.” As it is the mission of EpiVax to “improve human health everywhere”, the company has granted GVF a cost-free, royalty-free license to the EPV-CoV19 design for use in countries that can produce and test the vaccine candidate on the Least Developed Countries list published by the United Nations. Collaborators and a clinical trial site in West Africa have been identified.
Donations to the GVF COVID-19 vaccine fund will be entirely dedicated to the preclinical and clinical development phases of EPV-CoV19.
For more information or to make a donation to the program, visit https://www.gaiavaccine.org/covid19.
EpiVax is a biotechnology company with a broad portfolio of projects, including vaccines and immunotherapies for infectious diseases, autoimmunity and cancer. www.epivax.com
GVF is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports activities to advance healthcare accessibility and educational programs to inform the public about diseases, including HIV, and the importance of vaccines in West Africa. www.gaiavaccine.org
Annie De Groot, MD, EpiVax
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