The goal of the partnership is to better understand how emerging infectious diseases are transmitted and how transmission can be prevented. Through this collaborative program, Inviragen and Duke-NUS aim to advance the research and development of vaccines against infectious diseases such as dengue fever, hand, foot and mouth disease and chikungunya.
“Scientists in the Duke-NUS Emerging Infectious Diseases Program are conducting world-class research into viral pathogenesis and host immunology, and are pioneering methods to improve detection of emerging viral infections,” said Dr. Joseph Santangelo, Inviragen's chief operating officer. “By working with the researchers at Duke-NUS, we hope to improve public health in Singapore and worldwide by preventing the spread of viral diseases with safe and effective vaccines.”
Dr. Patrick Casey, senior vice dean for research at Duke-NUS stated, “Inviragen's proven track record of translating vaccine research from the bench into the clinic was a key factor when considering a collaboration, and one that we believe complements our strengths at Duke-NUS." Dr. Duane Gubler, professor and director of the Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS continued, “Our strengths lie not only in the quality of our research, but in our partnerships with institutes, hospitals and organizations such as Inviragen. We look forward to combining our expertise to assist in the testing of Inviragen’s vaccine products and to develop future products arising from infectious disease research at Duke-NUS.”
The MOU calls for the formation of a management committee co-chaired by Dr. Casey and Dr. Dan Stinchcomb, chief executive officer of Inviragen, who will oversee the organizations’ collaborative activities. Such activities include initiation of clinical trials in Singapore to study vaccines designed to protect against dengue fever and hand, foot and mouth disease.