GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Iomai Corporation (Nasdaq: IOMI) today announced it will receive a cost-reimbursement grant for up to $943,856 from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) to perform preclinical work on a patch-based version of the anthrax vaccine.
Under the 1-year grant, Iomai scientists will use vaccine antigen developed by UK-based Avecia Biologics Ltd., applying Iomai's technology in an effort to formulate a dry version of antigen that can be combined with an Iomai adjuvant on a needle-free patch. Iomai will then evaluate the stability of the patch to determine whether it can be stored and shipped at room temperature.
The current anthrax vaccine licensed in the United States is given as a six-shot regimen over an 18-month course and must be refrigerated, complicating stockpiling efforts. Government funding for a second-generation vaccine was discontinued after problems emerged with the stability of that vaccine.
"The military has a clear need for an effective anthrax vaccine that can be stockpiled and shipped at room temperature, and we believe that Iomai has the scientific know-how and the manufacturing ability to meet that need," said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Iomai. "This grant further validates the Iomai approach of formulating vaccines and immunostimulants on stable dry patches, and our work under this grant will dovetail nicely with our ongoing clinical and preclinical programs."
The work on the Department of Defense grant will focus on Iomai's technology for drying proteins such as the anthrax vaccine so that they can be administered via a patch the size of an adhesive bandage. That technology is at the core of the company's vaccines for travelers' diarrhea and influenza as well as its immunostimulant adjuvant patches for pandemic influenza and seasonal flu in the elderly.
The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the U.S. Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
ABOUT IOMAI CORPORATION
Iomai Corporation discovers and develops vaccines and immune system stimulants, delivered via a novel, needle-free technology called transcutaneous immunization (TCI). TCI, discovered by researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, taps into the unique benefits of a major group of antigen-presenting cells found in the outer layers of the skin (Langerhans cells) to generate an enhanced immune response. Iomai is leveraging TCI to enhance the efficacy of existing vaccines, develop new vaccines that are viable only through transcutaneous administration and expand the global vaccine market. Iomai currently has four product candidates in development: three targeting influenza and pandemic flu and one to prevent travelers' diarrhea. For more information on Iomai, please visit http://www.iomai.com.
Avecia is a privately owned biotechnology group of companies with recognized world leading positions in the process development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals (Avecia Biologics Ltd.) and oligonucleotide medicines (Avecia Biotechnology Inc.). Avecia Biologics has specific expertise in the invention and development of processes for microbial-derived biopharmaceuticals and vaccines and has cGMP manufacture for early clinical phases through to validation and commercialisation. The Company's Tees Valley, UK site has been developing processes and making protein-based biopharmaceuticals to cGMP since 1998. Process development and cGMP manufacture of the rPA anthrax vaccine and the plague vaccine have been carried out at this site since 2000. Avecia Biotechnology Inc. is a leader in the field of contract manufacture of oligonucleotides at its facility in Milford, Mass.
On March 20, 2008 Avecia Biologics Ltd. and PharmAthene, Inc., a biodefense company specializing in the development and commercialization of medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats, announced that they had entered into a definitive sale and purchase agreement under which PharmAthene will acquire all of the assets and intellectual property related to Avecia's biodefense vaccines business.
Some matters discussed in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements about the anticipated reimbursement from USAMRMC for the costs associated with preclinical testing described in this press release; and the possibility of developing a stable anthrax vaccine patch capable of being stockpiled and shipped at room temperatures. Applicable risks and uncertainties include, among others, that Iomai may not meet its milestones in order to fully perform under the grant and thereby may not receive complete reimbursement from USAMRMC; that USAMRMC will not authorize all tasks under the grant; that the timing and effectiveness of the pre-clinical studies are dependent on sufficient coordination and cooperation with third parties, including, without limitation, the supply of anthrax antigen from Avecia Biologics Ltd.; that pre-clinical studies fail to indicate that Iomai's dry patch formulation of the anthrax antigen will be stable and capable of being stored and shipped at room temperatures; and the other risks identified under the heading "Risk Factors" in Iomai's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Iomai cautions investors and others not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. You are encouraged to read the Company's filings for a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties which are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at http://www.sec.gov. All statements in this press release only speak as of its date, and Iomai undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements.
SOURCE Iomai Corporation