Fort Collins, CO, September 14, 2006 --(PR.com
)-- InViragen, LLC, a biotechnology company dedicated to developing vaccines for emerging infectious diseases worldwide, has entered into an Exclusive Patent License Agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The announcement is made by Dr. Dan Stinchcomb, InViragen’s Chief Executive Officer, whose company was the recipient of the Colorado Bioscience Association (CBSA)/ Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Venture Showcase award last year.
The licensed technology is applicable to vaccines against multiple viral diseases, including dengue fever and West Nile disease. Dengue fever threatens 2.5 billion people worldwide as well as travelers to tropical countries. West Nile virus has caused thousands of debilitating fevers since its introduction in North America.
“The scientists at the Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID) of the CDC used innovative molecular biology to create novel vaccines to protect against dengue fever and West Nile disease,” said Dr. Jorge Osorio, InViragen’s Chief Scientific Officer. “They have shown that these vaccines are safe and effective in key animal models. InViragen is working with the scientists at DVBID and international collaborators to move these needed vaccines through human clinical trials and regulatory approval.”
Dengue fever is a major health problem in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America and parts of Africa. The disease is a serious risk for travelers to those regions as well. Dengue fever is caused by infection with one of four different RNA viruses: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 or DEN-4. To be safe and effective, dengue vaccines must be capable of neutralizing all four of the dengue viruses. The technology developed by DVBID is based on a virus backbone that was shown to be safe and to generate long-lasting immune responses in Phase 1 clinical trials. Using this technology, InViragen is developing a four-way vaccine to protect against all four of the different viruses that cause dengue fever.
West Nile disease is a significant public health concern. The disease is caused by a single mosquito-borne RNA virus, West Nile virus. Since its emergence in New York in 1999, West Nile virus has caused over 16,000 documented human cases of disease and over 600 deaths in the United States. Using the same vaccine technology developed for the dengue vaccine, scientists at DVBID engineered a novel West Nile vaccine and demonstrated that the vaccine is safe and protects mice from West Nile virus.
“Obtaining this exclusive license from the CDC is an important milestone for InViragen,” said Dr. Stinchcomb. “The license will permit InViragen to convert the exciting research findings of the DVBID into products that will improve public health worldwide.”
InViragen, co-founded by Dr. Jorge Osorio and Dr. Dan Stinchcomb, is developing life-saving vaccines to protect against emerging infectious diseases worldwide. Over 15 million people die each year of infectious diseases. Vaccines to prevent these diseases are the most cost effective solutions to improving global health. InViragen’s lead vaccine is intended to protect against dengue fever. Dengue is a disease that potentially affects 2.5 billion people in tropical regions throughout the world as well as millions of travelers to those countries. Additionally, InViragen is developing a vaccine to protect against West Nile disease. West Nile has spread throughout the United States and North America since its introduction in the Western Hemisphere in 1999. InViragen is also designing a vaccine to protect against plague and smallpox, both of which are dangerous bioterrorist threats. InViragen has offices in Fort Collins, Colorado and Madison, Wisconsin.
About the Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases
Established in the 1950s, the DVBID of the CDC serves as a national and international reference center for viral and bacterial diseases transmitted to humans by a “vector” such as mosquito, tick, or flea. As one of the few remaining centers responsible for these agents, the division maintains leadership and scientific competence in all major disciplines relating to the field of vector-borne infectious diseases. The mission of the DVBID is to conduct and support laboratory and epidemiologic investigations to improve diagnosis, surveillance, prevention, and control of diseases of major public health importance such as Lyme disease, dengue/dengue hemorrhagic fever, West Nile disease, yellow fever, arboviral encephalitis, plague, and tularemia. In addition, expertise is maintained for other vector-borne infectious diseases that occur only sporadically or in periodic epidemics. More information is found at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid
About the Colorado BioScience Association
CBSA is a not-for-profit corporation providing services and support for Colorado's growing biosciences industry. With more than 300 members, CBSA actively works to promote the growth of the industry by working for a better business environment, growing the state's biotech workforce, fighting for policies that support a strong bioscience industry in the state and speaking with a single voice on behalf of the industry. For more information, visit http://www.cobioscience.com
Contact: Dr. Dan Stinchcomb, InViragen CEO, (970) 372-4754, email@example.com