Juvaris BioTherapeutics Announces Strategic Collaboration with Antigen Discovery, Inc.


Juvaris BioTherapeutics Announces Strategic Collaboration with Antigen Discovery, Inc.

Leading Adjuvanted Vaccine Developer Taps Cutting-Edge Antigen Discovery Engine

Burlingame, CA - June x, 2009 - Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc. today announced the signing of a definitive agreement with Antigen Discovery, Inc. (ADi) to access ADi's validated, proprietary high-throughput protein microarray screening system to discover novel immunodominant disease-specific antigens.  Juvaris will sponsor research for multiple disease targets and pay ADi upfront payments, development milestones and royalties on licensed products in exchange for full product development rights to all fields except diagnostics, which will belong to ADi.

Juvaris' President and CEO, Grant Pickering, commented that "access to the ADi platform is a critical step in Juvaris' mission to become the preeminent private vaccine company.  The assembly of cutting edge antigen discovery with our best-in-class adjuvant technology is a significant event for Juvaris and puts us in a unique position to develop a full range of high-value vaccines to prevent or treat infectious disease." 

The design and development of novel vaccines first requires the identification and characterization of the proper antigens. By assaying the entire proteome of a disease target, ADi's technology platform interrogates every possible protein antigen from a disease-causing agent.  The techniques distinguish antigens that best stimulate the immune system, and thereby identify antigen targets for vaccine and diagnostic development.  The selected antigens are derived from reactive antibodies generated by infected individuals and therefore mimic the presence, accessibility, and antigenicity of relevant proteins from the particular pathogens in humans.  ADi has successfully identified and refined more than 1,500 immunodominant and serodiagnostic antigens via the screening of nearly 10,000 human subjects across dozens of pathogens.   

ADi's Head of Business Development, Keith B. Hoffman, Ph.D., commented that "this broad collaboration with Juvaris allows us to leverage our validated antigen discovery engine for vaccine development.  After screening thousands of patient samples, we have proven the utility of our platform across multiple infectious diseases.  We very much look forward to working with Juvaris to discover important antigens to facilitate not only vaccine development to prevent or treat disease, but also diagnostics to manage disease."

Infectious diseases result in a quarter of annual deaths worldwide.  The diseases where vaccines have not been developed to date are, in large part, complex organisms that require novel technologies, such as ADi's, to facilitate discrimination of protective antigens from a large number of non-protective antigens.  Juvaris will select the optimal antigens from the ADi discovery efforts to combine with its proprietary adjuvant technology to create highly immunogenic prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against major unmet medical needs.

Juvaris' lead adjuvant, JVRS-100, is a cationic lipid-DNA complex that has been shown in the clinic to induce significant CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell mediated immune responses and improved antibody responses without additive toxicity.  Research indicates that the mechanism of action of JVRS-100 is distinct from other known adjuvants.  JVRS-100 self-assembles with disease-specific antigens and is in development in vaccine constructs targeting multiple infectious diseases.

About Juvaris

Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage company developing adjuvanted vaccines and immunotherapeutics to treat infectious diseases and cancer. The Company's lead product candidate, JVRS-100, is currently in clinical development as an adjuvant to improve the efficacy of seasonal influenza vaccines in the elderly population. The Company is also developing vaccines for HSV-2, universal flu and pandemic flu and has initiated clinical development of an immunotherapeutic to treat acute leukemia with grant funding from a leading academic institution. More information about the Company can be obtained at: www.juvaris.com.

About Antigen Discovery Inc.

Antigen Discovery Inc. is a privately held biotech company with a proven technology platform that harnesses advanced bioinformatics, genomics and proteomics to discover biomarkers for improved and novel diagnostic products, vaccines and therapeutic proteins.  ADi has partnerships with The Gates Foundation, The Centers for Disease Control, FIND Diagnostics, NIH, NIAID, InBios International, SBRI, Kaketsuken, UC Irvine, the Public Health Research Institute Center, and the US Navy.  More information about the Company can be obtained at:  www.antigendiscovery.com.

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Juvaris Company Contact:                                                     ADi Company Contact:

Grant E. Pickering                                                                   Keith B. Hoffman, Ph.D.

866 Malcolm Road, Suite 100                                     1 Technology Dr., Suite E309

Burlingame, CA 94010                                                            Irvine, CA 92618

650-259-1800 ext. 227                                                            949-679-4068

[email protected]                                                         [email protected]