Epimmune Inc. has licensed Valentis, Inc.’s proprietary PINC gene delivery technology for Epimmune’s preventive and therapeutic DNA vaccines in development against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Valentis has granted Epimmune a non-exclusive license to certain patented and non-patented technology for use in developing DNA vaccines against HIV and HCV in exchange for undisclosed upfront, milestone and royalty payments.
“The licensing of Valentis’ delivery technology should help expedite the clinical development of our HIV and HCV programs,” said Robert Chesnut, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development for Epimmune.
“Working together with Valentis, we have developed pre-clinical data demonstrating that one of the PINC formulations is very effective at delivering our EpiGene vaccines. We believe that access to this technology provides us with a proven means of delivering our epitope-based DNA vaccines.”
“This is the first license we have granted for our vaccine delivery technologies,” said Gregory M. McKee, Valentis’ Senior Director of Business Development.
“The collaboration with Epimmune supports our strategy of leveraging our gene delivery and expression technology platforms across multiple product opportunities. DNA vaccines are an exciting new area and we are pleased that Epimmune chose our delivery and expression technologies for incorporation into their products.”
Valentis‘ formulated PINC polymer gene delivery technology licensed to Epimmune produces a strong and reproducible humoral and cellular response in animal models.
PINC polymers are also being used in Valentis’ Interferon-alpha and Interleukin-12 gene medicines that are currently in Phase II clinical trials.
Epimmune Inc. is a leader in using gene maps of cancer-associated proteins and infectious agents to design vaccines that induce cellular immunity.
The company’s extensive technology platform is based on its pioneering work in deciphering the genetic code which regulates T- cell activation and identifying antigen fragments known as epitopes which can activate highly targeted T-cell responses to tumours, viruses, bacteria and parasites.