Versatope Awarded Grant for a Novel C. diff Vaccine
LOWELL, Mass., Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Versatope Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing vaccines and therapeutics, announced today that it has been awarded a Phase 1 Small Business and Innovation Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a novel vaccine for the prevention and possible treatment for Clostridioides difficile, also known as C. diff.
C. diff is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and colitis (an inflammation of the colon). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are about 500,000 cases in the United States annually, with almost 20% infection recurrence within 2-8 weeks. Approximately 1 in 11 infected people over the age of 65 die of the C. diff infection, or 15,000 people per year. The NIAID grant will support Versatope's goal of producing a C. diff vaccine designed to protect against recurring disease by using exosome-like bacterial vesicles. NIAID funding will support early stage manufacturing, stability and preclinical studies to demonstrate safety and tolerability.
"The support from NIAID will enable Versatope to apply its bioinformatic and structure-based vaccine approach to new bacterial infection targets and deliver novel C. diff vaccine candidates," said Christopher Locher, Ph.D., CEO of Versatope Therapeutics, Inc.
"We are proud to have Versatope as an M2D2 resident company. They are a talented, top-notch team and it is very rewarding to watch their successes as they develop a novel vaccine technology," said Mary Ann Picard, University of Massachusetts Lowell – Director of Operations, M2D2.
"I am excited that Versatope has received this well-deserved funding for their program for preventing C. difficile infection and recurrence. I look forward to working with them for the development of a vaccine to treat the urgent threat of this pathogen," said William J. Weiss, University of North Texas College of Pharmacy, Director of Preclinical Services.
"We are proud to have Versatope as part of the Massachusetts life sciences community and look forward to their successes as they advance their cutting-edge vaccine technology for patients around the world," said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio.
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Award no. R43AI149901, entitled, "Novel C. Difficile Vaccine Using Nano-vesicle Delivery System."
About Versatope Therapeutics Versatope Therapeutics, Inc., is a start-up biotechnology company based at the University of Massachusetts M2D2 focused on the development of an immunotherapy platform using recombinant vesicles from probiotic bacteria. The company combines bioinformatics, synthetic biology, chemistry, and leverages the therapeutic applications of the rOMV technology to create new vaccines and therapeutics. Learn more about Versatope Therapeutics at www.versatope.com and on Twitter @VersatopeRx.
Versatope Contact: Christopher Locher, PhD, CEO
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SOURCE Versatope Therapeutics