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Integral Molecular and Integrated BioTherapeutics have teamed up in the fight against the global health crises posed by Ebola and Zika viruses, signing a collaborative vaccine discovery agreement to help eradicate these threats.
The two companies will leverage their complementary technologies to produce vaccine candidates that are specifically engineered to generate a maximally protective immune response in humans. The availability of such vaccines will prevent the recurrence of the deadly 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic that killed over 11,000 people in West Africa, and has the potential to curtail the spread of the ongoing Zika virus epidemic associated with severe fetal brain defects.
Integral Molecular is an industry leader in the study of complex membrane proteins such as viral Envelope proteins. The company will use its proprietary Shotgun Mutagenesis protein engineering technology to generate and screen large panels of Envelope protein variants to identify an optimized protein that could serve as a highly immunogenic and protective vaccine, and will ultimately apply its high-resolution epitope mapping technologies to characterize the vaccine’s protective effects. Integrated BioTherapeutics, a leader in infectious disease research, will conduct preclinical studies to test the efficacy of vaccine candidates in disease models.
“The vulnerability of human populations during the recent Ebola and Zika outbreaks highlighted the consequences of the lack of effective vaccines against these pathogens. The goal of our collaboration is to meet these concerns by creating efficacious vaccine candidates based on viral Envelope proteins,” said M. Javad Aman, President and CEO of Integrated BioTherapeutics.
“We look forward to working with Integrated BioTherapeutics. Their experience in the development of a pipeline of antiviral products based on rationally designed and engineered viral proteins and antibodies will be a tremendous asset in our joint efforts towards producing Ebola and Zika vaccines,” continued Benjamin Doranz, President and CEO of Integral Molecular.
Thus far, the two companies have engaged in highly successful collaborative research that has culminated in the pursuit of these vaccine candidates. This includes the development and characterization of the protective and cross-neutralizing pan-Ebola antibody FVM04, recently published in Cell Reports (Howell et al., 2016). Additional research resulting from this collaboration is expected to be published later this year.
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular is a research-driven biotechnology company creating innovative technologies and a pipeline of therapeutic antibodies against under-exploited membrane protein targets, including GPCRs, ion channels, transporters, and viral envelopes. This platform is built on the company’s Lipoparticle and Shotgun Mutagenesis technologies and over 15 years of experience optimizing membrane proteins. Integral Molecular discovers antibodies for partners in parallel with its own independent work developing antibodies for licensing. The company currently has therapeutic programs focused on pain, immunity, and infectious diseases. For more information, visit www.integralmolecular.com.
About Integrated BioTherapeutics
IBT is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery of novel vaccines and therapeutics for emerging infectious diseases with a pipeline that includes promising product candidates for bacterial and viral infections including unique pan-filovirus monoclonal antibodies and vaccine candidates and a variety of other engineered product candidates for emerging viruses. IBT also operates a testing service business (www.integratedbiotherapeutics.com) focused on in vitro and in vivo models for viral agents such as Zika, dengue, yellow fever, influenza and RSV as wells as bacterial agents such as S. aureus, S. pneumoniae, E. Coli, and C. difficile. Located in Rockville, Maryland, IBT has a close working relationship with United States Government agencies including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID/NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Department of Defense (DOD), United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) as well as many biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and academic laboratories. For more information, visit www.integratedbiotherapeutics.com.