Abingdon, UK, 22 April 2020 – Emergex Vaccines Holding Limited (‘Emergex’), a biotechnology company developing CD8+ priming set-point vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the George Mason University, based in Virginia, in the United States.
The agreement specifies that George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases will provide their unique expertise and resources as a partner in the development of Emergex’s vaccines against highly pathogenic RNA viruses. In particular, George Mason University’s Biosafety 3 capabilities, coupled with their experience in dealing with RNA viruses, means that they are a well-suited collaborator on the vaccine validation studies, as well as the optimization of vaccine design.
Professor Thomas Rademacher, CEO and co-founder of Emergex, commented, “Everyone in the world today has or will be affected by highly pathogenic RNA viruses such as bird flu, Ebola, COVID-19, etc. These viruses have caused significant morbidity and mortality, especially in high-risk groups such as the immunocompromised or elderly. We are therefore very excited to announce today this agreement with George Mason University, which adds an important capability to Emergex’s vaccine program.”
Dr Aarthi Narayanan, Associate Professor of Systems Biology in George Mason University’s College of Science, added, “My colleagues and I are looking forward to partnering with Emergex and we are especially pleased to be lending our expertise to efforts to create a vaccine during these challenging times. As members of the faculty of a premier research university, we work with other thought leaders to address global threats. This is how we make progress, and collaboration is the top priority for the College of Science, the Institute for Biohealth Innovation, and the University as a whole.”
Emergex’s set-point vaccines have been designed to offer advantages compared to traditional vaccines. These vaccines modify the initial immune status of the recipients in a way that ‘primes’ their immune systems to recognise subsequent infectious agents much like a natural infection would do, and thus preventing an acute or severe manifestation of the disease. They do this by providing a cell-mediated immune response (a T-cell response) rather than a humoral immune response (an antibody-based immune response) which should stimulate longer-lasting immunity. They are self-adjuvanted and limit or eliminate the allergic, autoimmune or antibody-mediated side effects associated with the traditional vaccines. They are also 100% synthetic and do not contain any RNA or DNA – do not use inactivated or live-attenuated pathogens – and therefore should be inherently safer to develop and use.
Emergex, a UK-based biotechnology company headquartered in Abingdon, UK, is pioneering the development of set-point vaccines to address some of the world’s most immediate health threats such as Dengue Fever, Zika, Ebola, pandemic flu and serious intra-cellular bacterial infections.
These set-point vaccines are population based and modify the initial immune status of recipients in a way that ‘primes’ their immune systems to recognise subsequent infectious agents much like a natural infection would do, preventing an acute or severe manifestation of the disease.
Emergex combines validated technologies together with the very latest scientific insights to develop its vaccines, including using synthetic peptide codes determined on actual infected cells and using a proprietary gold nanoparticle carrier system for programming.
The Company has a growing pipeline of vaccine candidates. The most advanced development programme is a vaccine for Dengue Fever, which may also be disease modifying for other Flaviviruses such as the Zika and Yellow Fever viruses. Emergex also has programmes in development for a universal Influenza vaccine and a universal Filovirus vaccine (including viruses such as Ebola and Marburg) and discovery programmes for a Yellow Fever Booster vaccine and a Chikungunya vaccine.
Emergex has partnered with the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) of Singapore to develop a vaccine for the emerging threat of Hand, Foot and Mouth (HFM) disease and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Brazil-based Oswaldo Cruz Foundation ‘Fiocruz’ for the development of viral vaccines. This initially covers the development of a vaccine that universally targets diseases within the flavivirus family such as Dengue Fever, Zika and Yellow Fever but could be expanded to include the development of vaccines to target other viral families that are endemic to the region.
Find out more online at www.emergexvaccines.com.
About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 37,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.
The Institute for Biohealth Innovation (IBI) promotes and supports biohealth-related research activities of faculty, staff, and students at George Mason University. The IBI connects Mason researchers in biohealth with potential collaborators, both within the university and externally, to advance human health research. Learn more and hear more from our researchers at ibi.gmu.edu.
The College of Science at Mason is a leader in scientific discovery creating innovative solutions for the rapidly-changing needs of today's world. Mason's College of Science blends traditional science education with sought-after programs in disciplines as diverse as personalized medicine, infectious diseases, geoinformatics, climate dynamics, materials science, astronomy, forensic science, and applied mathematics. The College encourages meaningful education and research at all levels offering innovative undergraduate programs, minors, certificates, and graduate degree opportunities, as well as global, transfer-focused, and online, or hybrid, programs that allow professionals the opportunity to reskill or change careers. Learn more at science.gmu.edu.
George Mason University Biomedical Research Laboratory is one of thirteen Regional Biocontainment Laboratories constructed with funding support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH). The BRL is a state-of-the-art laboratory with biosafety level 3 and aerosolization capabilities where scientists perform pioneering research of infectious diseases, both emerging and potential bio threat agents. Learn more at ncbid.gmu.edu.
Issued for and on behalf of Emergex Vaccines by Instinctif Partners.
For more information please contact: Emergex@instinctif.com