EpiVax-Novozymes Tregitope-Albumin Fusion Moves 'Paradigm-Shifting' Treatment
for Diabetes Closer to Clinical Trials
Full Article - http://bit.ly/EpiVaxNovoPR
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 12, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --EpiVax, Inc. is pleased to
announce a new Collaborative Research Agreement with Novozymes Biopharma. The
collaboration will enable EpiVax to rapidly advance its Tregitope
immune-modulating technology as a potential treatment for autoimmune diseases.
When used as a buffering agent, albumin has excellent safety and
pharmacokinetic profiles. Fusing Tregitopes to Novozymes' proven albumin-based
half-life extension platform will create a safe and effective vehicle for the
application of Tregitopes to multiple problems in the areas of autoimmunity,
transplantation, and allergy.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121116/NE15175LOGO )
Tregitopes, discovered by Anne De Groot and Bill Martin at EpiVax, are linear
sequences of amino acids contained within the framework of monoclonal
antibodies and immunoglobulin G; the original finding was published in the
journal Blood in 2008. Since their discovery, EpiVax has compiled substantial
evidence linking Tregitopes to the activation of natural regulatory T cells.
By selectively activating these natural regulatory T cells, Tregitopes can
dampen unwanted immune responses. Preliminary studies carried out by EpiVax
and collaborators indicate that Tregitopes may be useful for inducing
tolerance to transplants, protein drugs, and blood replacement therapies, as
well as for the treatment of allergies. EpiVax believes Tregitopes may
explain the effectiveness of intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIG), widely
utilized as an autoimmune treatment (a $4B annual market).
The initial disease target for Tregitope therapy with the albumin-Tregitope
fusion will be Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Each year, more than 13,000 young people
are diagnosed with T1D. Islet replacement therapy is in the experimental stage
for individuals with advanced disease, and EpiVax believes the
albumin-Tregitope fusion will facilitate this novel treatment for individuals
in later stages of T1D.
Tregitopes act as a natural immune system "off switch" and have been shown in
standard preclinical models to "reset" immune responses away from autoimmunity
and towards tolerance. "Developing more specific therapies to promote
tolerance … is a critical component of a comprehensive approach to T1D," said
Julia L. Greenstein, Ph.D., VP of Cure Therapies for JDRF, whose previous
funding helped EpiVax derive preliminary data to support recent NIH awards.
"[Tregitopes] may have the potential to reduce the harmful immune responses to
the insulin-producing beta cells, thereby preserving the body's ability to
make its own insulin."
NIH SBIR grants coupled with private foundation funds have brought total
pre-clinical funding for Tregitopes to more than $6M in the past 4 years.
FULL ARTICLE - http://bit.ly/EpiVaxNovoPR
SOURCE EpiVax, Inc.
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