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New Partnership To Develop a Pan-Coronavirus DNA Vaccine

Entos is developing Covigenix, a pan-coronavirus DNA vaccine based on its Fusogenix drug delivery technology. EpiVax will provide optimized epitopes from multiple COVID-19 proteins identified using their proprietary in silico immunogenicity screening technology. Credit: TEC Edmonton.

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Entos Pharmaceuticals (Entos), a healthcare biotechnology company that develops next generation nucleic acid medicines using the Fusogenix drug delivery platform, today announced a collaboration with EpiVax, Inc. (EpiVax), a world leading informatics and immunology biotechnology company with a proven track record in vaccine development.

This partnership will combine the Entos Fusogenix DNA delivery technology with optimized COVID-19 epitopes from EpiVax to generate a highly effective immune response against the novel coronavirus, while ensuring a high degree of safety. Unlike traditional vaccines, a Fusogenix DNA-based vaccine encodes the virus proteins in a DNA plasmid that is then delivered into the patient's own cells by direct fusion. The patient's cells then produce the viral proteins that the body recognizes as foreign, and a potent immune response is mounted. This response will create long-term immunity against infection from viruses such as SARS-COV-2.

"We are excited to be working with the exceptional team at EpiVax, whose computational approach to optimizing vaccine design is second to none," said Dr. John Lewis, CEO of Entos, "We're looking forward to bringing an effective DNA vaccine to human clinical trials as soon as possible."

The Fusogenix platform has undergone extensive pre-clinical toxicity and efficacy studies in animal models, and has been validated as a best-in-class intracellular delivery platform for DNA. The successful outcome of this project will be an approved COVID-19 DNA vaccine that will provide broad-based protection against coronaviruses and also a potent cell-based activity that will mitigate active COVID-19 infections. Vaccination of the at-risk population in Canada and internationally will dramatically reduce the continued spread and mortality of this dangerous virus. In contrast to traditional vaccines, DNA-based vaccines can be rapidly manufactured and easily scaled, which drastically reduces the time to market.

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