PLEASANTON, Calif., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc. announced today the publication of the preclinical evaluation for the efficacy of the JuvImmune(TM) immunostimulant platform in a mouse model of Punta Toro virus infection in the March issue of the journal Antiviral Research. This research was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Brian Gowen and Dr. Robert Sidwell at the Institute for Antiviral Research of Utah State University and was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Juvaris' JuvImmune(TM) technology was found to be highly active against PTV infection and exhibited rapid activation of the innate immune response for the production of anti-viral interferons as well as interleukins. JuvImmune(TM) treatment was well-tolerated and demonstrated complete protection in both prophylactic and therapeutic applications. Other observations included increased survival time, reduction of virus-induced liver damage, and decreased virus titers.
"We are pleased with these dramatic efficacy results and the external validation they provide for the JuvImmune(TM) technology. To achieve 100% protection using JuvImmune(TM) without an antigen to prevent disease in exposed animals is outstanding. But to see 100% survival in a therapeutic application is remarkable. We believe our platform has significant broad-based product applicability in both chronic and acute viral infections, including biodefense pathogens," said Martin D. Cleary, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Juvaris.
Punta Toro virus (PTV), which produces a fatal hepatic disease in animals, is closely related to the African and Middle Eastern Rift Valley Fever and Sandfly Fever viruses. These viral infections have had devastating effects in many parts of the world and are now considered significant biodefense concerns to the United States.
Innate immune activation is the first-line of defense against viral agents and is critical for induction of subsequent specific immune responses. Preclinical studies, using JuvImmune(TM) in other viral and bacterial infection models, have also demonstrated substantial amplification of immune responses and protection. JuvImmune(TM) testing is now being extended for evaluation in additional viral studies including hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Juvaris BioTherapeutics was created in 2003 to develop an immunotherapeutic product platform for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancers using lipid-DNA complexes. Cationic lipids are formulated with non-coding DNA (plasmid) to create JuvImmune(TM), a lipid-DNA complex, which as a single product will have utility in multiple cancer and infectious disease applications. The JuvImmune(TM) product has been shown to be at least 50-times more potent at triggering innate immune activation and interferon release than current immune stimulants.
When combined with disease-specific antigens, the technology creates JuvaVax(TM) vaccines capable of activating substantial antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses, particularly induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Immunological responses elicited by the lipid-DNA complexes have been successfully demonstrated in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings in a variety of mammals including rodents, rabbits, cats, dogs and non-human primates. Moreover, substantial immune responses have been induced following oral and intranasal administration. This platform provides the opportunity to develop many disease-specific immunotherapy products, for which there are significant unmet medical needs.
On January 9, 2006, the Company announced the award of a two-year Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the NIAID for the development of an influenza A virus vaccine.
The Company encourages investment and partnering inquiries, including this project, and can be reached at its website @ www.juvaris.com.
Martin D. Cleary
Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc.
Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc.