HOUSTON, Jan. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- AuraVax Therapeutics Inc. (www.auravax.com), a biotech company developing novel intranasal vaccines and therapies to help patients defeat debilitating diseases, including COVID-19, today announced it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) covering certain intellectual property and technology rights regarding compositions and discoveries of liposomal STING agonists by Mei X. Wu, PhD, of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at MGH. Research related to this technology was published in Science in February 2020.1
"We are delighted to be collaborating with MGH and Dr. Wu, who has developed a safe and potent adjuvant that can be intranasally delivered to augment the effectiveness of influenza vaccines. The intellectual property expands our portfolio to broadly target respiratory diseases from both a vaccine and therapeutic perspective. We plan to stop COVID-19, a respiratory virus, at its point of entry -- the nasal cavity -- as well as provide systemic protection. Our differentiated platform is based on STING agonists that we believe will lead to a vaccine with rapid protection and create sustained immunity to viral infections," said Dr. Navin Varadarajan, AuraVax co-founder and M.D. Anderson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston.
"Our laboratory has focused on improving and advancing the development of vaccines against infectious diseases to make them more effective, convenient, and safer," said Dr. Wu. "The immediate challenge presented by COVID-19 and the stunning science that has emerged related to the virus have enriched our knowledge about the immune response. There is evidence that triggering a mucosal immune response can evoke rapid and durable protection against pandemic viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, and through this collaboration with AuraVax, we look forward to pursuing this approach."
"The urgent race for more effective ways of vaccinating against COVID-19 and other diseases has led to a broad and extensive focus on various protective mechanisms of action. Based on pre-clinical work, our approach not only elicits a mucosal immune response, but also systemic immunity. We believe AuraVax has a competitive advantage given the platform's ability to generate localized and generalized immune responses and a technology that simplifies the supply chain, making it well-suited for widespread distribution and self-administration," stated Dr. Varadarajan.
AuraVax Therapeutics Inc. ("AuraVax") is a privately held biotechnology company developing a proprietary and differentiated platform of vaccines and therapeutics. Its lead candidate is an intranasal vaccine for COVID-19. Its next-generation platform aims to combine the ease of use of "at-home" administration with the ability to deliver comprehensive immunity for use in humans and animals. The technology has been validated for COVID-19 in pre-clinical studies with immunity measured by both B-cell and T-cell responses.
For more information, go to www.auravax.com.
For additional information about Auravax, contact
Matthew J. Meyer
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1Science, 2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.aau0810