Evaxion Announces NIH Grant for Research Collaboration With UMass Chan Medical School
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evaxion Biotech A/S (NASDAQ: EVAX) (“Evaxion” or the “Company”), announced today that the Company, in collaboration with UMass Chan Medical School (“UMass Chan”), has received a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) for the development of a gonorrhea lead vaccine candidate.
Evaxion recently announced a new discovery project (EVX-B2) with the aim of developing a gonorrhea vaccine based on the Company’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform EDEN. Chief Scientific Officer at Evaxion, Birgitte Rønø, states that the scientific collaboration with UMass Chan and the grant from NIH substantiate Evaxion’s capabilities within AI-based vaccine design and allow the Company to fast-track the development of a gonorrhea vaccine candidate.
“We are grateful for the NIH grant to secure further development of the vaccine candidate in collaboration with the talented and knowledgeable scientists at UMass Chan, an academic world leader in the field of infectious diseases. We see an attractive market opportunity for this candidate and a major unmet medical need. As gonorrhea is one of the world’s most urgent antibiotic resistance threats with no vaccine available, the development of a safe and efficacious vaccine for the prevention of gonorrhea infections is critical,” states Birgitte Rønø.
Evaxion’s AI platform, EDEN, was used to identify novel, highly efficacious B-cell antigens to be included in the vaccine. In preclinical studies, the vaccine candidate has demonstrated protection against infection, holding great promise for future development and the patients in need.
“We are pleased to be working with Evaxion on this vaccine and are very encouraged by the promising data from Evaxion’s AI platform,” stated Sanjay Ram, MD, professor of medicine at UMass Chan. “The emergence of multidrug-resistant gonococcal strains worldwide has severely limited treatment options. With this collaborative project, we hope to develop a vaccine that addresses this major global public health problem. We greatly appreciate receiving NIH funding for our joint efforts.”
- Evaxion’s lead multivalent gonorrhea vaccine candidate was discovered using Evaxion’s proprietary AI platform, EDEN, and has demonstrated protection in disease-relevant animal models.
- The NIH grant intends to use DNA and mRNA vaccine delivery platforms to deliver Evaxion’s lead vaccine candidates, in addition to UMass Chan’s vaccine candidate.
- Identified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the five most urgent antibiotic resistance threats, gonorrhea can result in ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and life-threatening sepsis infection. Furthermore, gonorrhea can increase the risk of contracting and transmitting HIV 5-fold.
- By 2050, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are projected to kill 10 million people a year, more than the current death toll from all cancers globally, according to numbers from the World Bank.
Evaxion Biotech A/S is a clinical-stage biotech company developing AI-powered immunotherapies. With our proprietary and scalable AI technology, we decode the human immune system to discover and develop personalized immunotherapies for cancer, bacterial diseases, and viral infections. Evaxion has a broad pipeline of novel product candidates, including three personalized cancer immunotherapies. It is located in Hørsholm, Denmark, with 70 employees.
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