Novel Approach Yields Promising Results in Primate Trials
October 12, 2010, Raleigh, NC – Arbovax, an early-stage company developing vaccines to protect against insect-borne diseases, has just passed a significant milestone in the development of a new Dengue fever vaccine with the successful completion of non-human primate trials. The initial trial, which was focused on Dengue 2 serotype, has yielded promising results and has the potential to provide protection with one dose – unlike other technologies under development that require a multiple dose regimen. The trial was conducted with the assistance of RxGen and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
Arbovax’s unique strategy for vaccine development is based on their proprietary Host-Range Mutation technology, which restricts the ability of the virus to replicate in diverse hosts. With this technology, Arbovax has been able to create stable genetic modifications of the viruses that do not replicate efficiently in mammalian cells, thus allowing for the development of a strong immune response without the risk of disease. Another benefit of Arbovax’s approach is that it is very cost effective to produce.
“We are extremely excited by these positive early results and are moving forward with development of a tetravalent product,” states Malcolm Thomas, president and CEO of Arbovax. “We believe our unique and novel approach represents a real breakthrough in vaccine development that will provide strong and lasting protection with a single dose. In addition to providing protection against the potentially fatal Dengue fever, our technology could be used to address a whole variety of insect-borne viral diseases, including West Nile, Yellow Fever and Japanese Encephalitis.”
About Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is a potentially fatal mosquito-transmitted viral disease. There has been a significant increase in cases over the last sixty years based on the changing global climate and rapid urbanization, making Dengue fever one of the most important re-emerging infectious diseases
– Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a potentially lethal complication, was first recognized in the 1950s.
– Over 2.5 billion people, two-fifths of the world’s population, are now at risk.
– The disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-east Asia and the Western Pacific.
– In 2007 alone, there were more than 890,000 reported cases of Dengue Fever in the Americas.
– An estimated 500,000 people with DHF require hospitalization each year.
– About 2.5% of those affected die, a very large proportion being children.
– Without proper treatment, DHF fatality rates can exceed 20%.
Arbovax is engaged in preclinical development of vaccines for protection against mosquito-borne diseases that collectively infect over 100 million people annually. Arbovax’s initial focus, Dengue Fever, is ranked second only to Malaria by the World Health Organization, for its devastating global impact. The company’s research and development has already yielded three US patents that apply to all insect-borne viruses including alphaviruses, bunyaviruses and flaviviruses. The company has received more than $400,000 in funding from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, as well as $1.5 million in Series A financing.
For more information about Arbovax and their vaccine technology, please visit www.arbovax.com.