NEW YORK, April 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Voltron Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a Sponsored Research Agreement with the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The goal of the collaboration is to co-develop a new vaccine designed to protect patients at risk of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, leveraging the Self-Assembling Vaccine (SAV) platform developed by the VIC and licensed exclusively to Voltron. HaloVax, a biopharmaceutical company and special purpose subsidiary of Voltron Therapeutics, Inc, will spearhead the development.
The vaccine is expected to enter animal testing by the end of April 2020 and will be followed by safety studies as soon as possible thereafter. Voltron Therapeutics and MGH have a longstanding relationship for the development of vaccines to fight infectious diseases and cancer. This partnership leverages rapid response platforms already supported by the VIC, specifically the application of VaxCelerate, the SAV platform licensed from the VIC at MGH for vaccine development. The VaxCelerate platform was developed to improve patient outcomes by engaging the immune system to identify and target certain pathogens or cancer cells.
"This is a global pandemic, which requires a partnership and strength of the leading minds in this space. By joining forces with the VIC, we believe we can develop a solution that will eradicate this threat quickly and efficiently. Data in four animal models in both infectious disease and oncology suggest the SAV's unique flexibility may have a clinically relevant impact in a number of settings," said Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, Voltron Therapeutics. "Partnering with the VIC is a considerable move forward for Voltron's vaccine portfolio and developing an agent effective against this virus. We look forward to addressing the global health challenges of emerging infectious diseases and bringing the spread of COVID-19 to a halt."
Dr. Mark Poznansky, Director, Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, MGH stated, "The self-assembling vaccine has been designed to be highly adaptable, designed for safety and allows for seamless modifications in the face of potential genetic changes in the pathogen. Our goal is to rapidly develop and test a vaccine that could help the population at large, and especially individuals who are at increased risk for the most serious complications of COVID-19 infection."
The SAV program has intellectual property surrounding composition of matter. The vaccine incorporates a heat shock protein that activates the immune system in contrast to prior vaccine efforts, which used chemical adjuvants like alum. The vaccine consists of a fusion protein between a heat shock protein and Avidin. Biotinylated immunogenic peptides are then incorporated to customize the vaccine.
About HaloVax™, LLC
HaloVax, LLC is a special purpose subsidiary of Voltron Therapeutics, Inc. The mission of HaloVax is to develop a novel, Self-Assembling Vaccine against COVID-19, utilizing technology licensed by Voltron Therapeutics, Inc. from the Vaccine and Immunotherapeutics Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The vaccine is being designed from a validated platform to provide customized cellular immunity against COVID-19, as well as be able to adapt rapidly to potential genetic drift of the virus. For more information, please visit www.HaloVax.com.
About Voltron Therapeutics, Inc.
Voltron Therapeutics, Inc., a Delaware corporation, was founded in 2017 to lead and accelerate the development of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC), and the Massachusetts General Hospital's novel Self Assembling Vaccine technology in a variety of indications, including in Oncology and emerging Infectious Diseases. Voltron holds an exclusive worldwide license to this technology. With the work of our world class team of researchers and physicians, this technology has shown in certain pre-clinical studies initial proof of concept in two infectious diseases (Lassa Fever and Q Fever) as well as two oncology indications (Ovarian and HPV Related). For more information please visit www.voltrontx.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements that relate to the advancement and development of the VaxCelerate Platform, the commencement of clinical trials, the availability of data from clinical trials and other information that is not historical information. When used herein, words such as "anticipate", "being", "will", "plan", "may", "continue", and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements or information that refer to expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, performance or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking. All forward-looking statements are based upon Voltron's current expectations and various assumptions. Voltron believes there is a reasonable basis for its expectations and beliefs, but they are inherently uncertain. Voltron may not realize its expectations, and its beliefs may not prove correct. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, market conditions and any Voltron filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Consequently, forward-looking statements should be regarded solely as Voltron's current plans, estimates and beliefs. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Voltron cannot guarantee future results, events, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Voltron does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to update, republish, or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrences of unanticipated events, except as may be required by law.
Matt Duffy, Treasurer & Director
SOURCE Voltron Therapeutics, Inc.