NanoBio creating RSV vaccine

NanoBio Corporation, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company, announced a licensing agreement on Wednesday with the National Institutes of Health that will contribute to the development of a vaccine to protect against respiratory syncytial virus infections.

The agreement will give NanoBio the rights to a novel RSV antigen developed by the NIH using proprietary reverse-genetics and viral-selection technology. RSV is a highly contagious viral disease that is one of the most common causes of pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

The disease is the number one cause of childhood hospitalizations in the United States and throughout the world. Almost all children are infected with the virus at least once by the age of two to three years. The disease is especially dangerous for children with other health conditions, premature babies and the elderly. There are currently no approved vaccines for RSV.

“We are very pleased to secure this novel GMP antigen source for RSV. Our plan is to formulate the NIH antigen in combination with our NanoStat adjuvant technology for use as an intranasal vaccine.” Dr. Ali I. Fattom, NanoBio's senior vice president of vaccine research and development, said. “Based on our earlier mouse studies, we expect that a NanoStat adjuvanted RSV vaccine will induce robust protective immunity, without eliciting the enhanced respiratory disease that has caused other RSV vaccine candidates to fail.”

In collaboration with the University of Michigan, the company previously showed that the NanoStat adjuvant combined with killed RSV was able to protect and elicit strong immune responses in challenged mice without causing increasing mucus production or other signs of enhanced respiratory disease.

“RSV remains a major cause of serious lung infections in children and the elderly,” James R. Baker, Jr., NanoBio’s founder and CEO, said. “Despite the large unmet need, a safe and effective vaccine is not available today. The novel properties of our NanoStat technology - including its ability to elicit both mucosal and Th1 cellular immunity - are critical elements for overcoming the challenges seen thus far in RSV vaccine development. In November of last year, NanoBio announced a substantial grant for RSV vaccine development from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Today’s announcement with the NIH coupled with the ongoing support and commitment of the Gates Foundation, means the pieces are now fully in place for NanoBio to develop and commercialize an intranasal RSV vaccine."

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