VaxInnate Corporation announced that it has been awarded a grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to fund the development of a recombinant vaccine for the prevention of dengue, a disease that kills an estimated 25,000 people annually. VaxInnate is a biotechnology firm pioneering breakthrough technology for developing novel vaccines.
The grant provides funding of $2.2 million over a period of three years to develop a recombinant tetravalent dengue vaccine using VaxInnate’s proprietary technology. The technology involves genetically fusing vaccine antigens to the bacterial protein flagellin, a potent stimulator of the innate immune system, which dramatically improves the potency, manufacturing capacity and cost-effectiveness of vaccines.
NIAID is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NIAID conducts and supports research to better understand, treat and prevent infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases.
“We’re pleased to receive this grant and look forward to working with NIAID to develop a vaccine to prevent dengue, a disease that poses an increasing public health threat worldwide,” said Wayne Pisano, President and CEO of VaxInnate. “VaxInnate’s selection for this grant is another endorsement of the potential of our proprietary technology to meet critical and emerging public health threats.”
The NIAID grant is VaxInnate’s fourth funding opportunity from the U.S. Government. The company previously received earmarks from the Department of Defense (DoD) for the development of vaccines to prevent dengue and malaria. Under a 2011 contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), VaxInnate is using recombinant technology to develop pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines.