LOWELL, Mass., Jan. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Versatope Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing vaccines and therapeutics, announced today four new members to their Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) who are leaders in the field infectious disease research and influenza vaccines: Drs. Frederick G. Hayden, Stacey Schultz-Cherry, David Topham and Ralph Tripp.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), influenza vaccines were 29% effective during the 2017-2018 season due to the emergence of new, late season viral strains, contributing to an estimated 45 million influenza illnesses and 61,000 influenza-associated deaths in the U.S.
To address the urgent need to develop a universal influenza vaccine, Versatope was recently awarded a contract worth up to $17.9M from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Versatope's platform technology is based on research from Cornell University Professors David Putnam and Matthew DeLisa.
Christopher Locher, Ph.D., CEO of Versatope Therapeutics, Inc. says of the newly formed SAB: "We are very fortunate to have the expertise of the SAB guiding the development of our universal influenza vaccine."
Dr. Ralph Tripp, of the University of Georgia says of Versatope's novel platform technology using bacterial recombinant outer membrane vesicles (rOMVs): "The rOMVs are designed to induce broad cross-protection against divergent influenza viruses which will negate the need for an annual update of vaccine strains and protect against possible influenza pandemics."
Dr. David Topham, of the University of Rochester Medical Center has high hopes for the potential of Versatope's vaccine deliver system: "Versatope's rOMV platform offers a highly flexible and potent delivery system for influenza vaccine protein antigens and is ideally suited to accommodate multi-valent vaccine designs."
About Versatope's Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Frederick G. Hayden is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases and International Health. His research includes antiviral agents for the prevention and treatment of respiratory viral infections and clinical trials of several candidate antiviral agents for influenza and rhinovirus infections.
Dr. Stacey Schultz-Cherry is a member of the St. Jude Children's Research Faculty and Deputy Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza in Animals and Birds, which is part of the Center for Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance.
Dr. David Topham is the Vice Provost and Executive Director of The Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation, a Marie Curran Wilson and Joseph Chamberlain Wilson Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and serves as Director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence.
Dr. Ralph Tripp is a Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia and is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. His research includes the conceptual and functional differences between innate and adaptive immune responses that provide the foundation necessary to develop therapeutic protocols and vaccines.
About Versatope Therapeutics
Versatope Therapeutics, Inc., is a start-up biotechnology company located in Lowell, MA at the University of Massachusetts' M2D2 biotech incubator. Learn more about Versatope Therapeutics at Versatope.com; Follow us on Twitter @VersatopeRx.
Christopher Locher, PhD
+1 781 879-3119
SOURCE Versatope Therapeutics, Inc.