Raleigh, NC, June 21, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- In the last decade Dengue Fever has reemerged as a major health threat, not just in the Far East, but in the Americas. According to the World Health Organization, two-fifths of the world’s population is at risk, including the United States. As there is no treatment for Dengue Fever, finding a vaccine has become a major priority of medical researchers and leading pharmaceutical companies.
Arbovax, a biomedical research company in Raleigh, NC, recently raised $1.7 million through angel funds to further develop their vaccine technology up to clinical trials. CEO Malcolm Thomas says there are two very important commercial reasons that have captured the investors’ interest.
“Unlike some approaches, such as sub-unit or chimeric technology, ours is designed to be a one shot vaccine and is also very cost effective to manufacture,” he explains. “Most Dengue Fever cases still occur in developing countries, where cost is a major consideration. A practical and effective vaccine becomes ever more important with travelers in affected areas and the spread of Dengue to the United States and Europe.”
In a soon to be released paper in Virology Journal, the use of the Arbovax technology as applied to Dengue 2 showed impaired infectivity in mammalian cells, which is a very desirable result in developing the vaccine.
“What is most exciting about this unique and powerful platform technology is the potential for generating safe and effective immunity that can be applied to many other insect-borne viral diseases for which no current therapies exist,” says Thomas.
About the company: Arbovax, Inc. is an early stage biotechnology company based in Raleigh NC, developing a novel and innovative technology to facilitate the development of vaccines against insect-borne viruses. The core technology, developed by Dr. Dennis Brown and Dr. Raquel Hernandez of NC State University, provides a platform that offers improved vaccine technology in a cost effective manner targeting a portfolio of arthropod-borne diseases that includes Dengue Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, West Nile, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever. Arbovax’s initial focus, Dengue Fever, is ranked second only to Malaria by the World Health Organization for its devastating global impact.
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