CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Affinivax Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to developing novel vaccines, has entered into a collaboration agreement with Nosocomial Vaccine Corporation (NVC), established by ClearPath Development Company with the support of its partner, Astellas Pharma Inc. The collaboration will utilize Affinivax’s proprietary vaccine platform, Multiple Antigen Presentation System (MAPS), to develop vaccines to prevent bacterial nosocomial infections, also referred to as health-care associated infections (HAIs). The collaboration includes funding from NVC sufficient to support the development of product candidates to advance towards clinical testing.
HAIs are a significant global health concern, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that four percent of patients in the U.S. will contract an HAI each year in medical facilities, including ambulatory surgical centers, hospice centers, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. JAMA Internal Medicine has reported that HAIs cost $9.8 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Bacterial nosocomial infections represent one of the most common HAIs, caused by bacteria that are highly resistant to available antibiotic therapies. In addition to the limitations of current treatments against nosocomial infections, there are no vaccines available today for prevention.
“Health-care associated infections represent a major medical challenge today for healthcare workers and patients, and development of a vaccine for prevention of these deadly infections would achieve a major public health goal,” said Dr. Richard Malley, Affinivax’s scientific founder, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Kenneth McIntosh Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital. “I am thrilled to see Affinivax now advance our MAPS vaccines beyond Streptococcus pneumoniae and potentially having a significant impact on patient care by preventing these treatment-resistant infections.”
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with NVC to deploy Affinivax’s technology for this important initiative to develop a vaccine to prevent nosocomial infections,” said Steven B. Brugger, CEO of Affinivax. “This collaboration provides us the opportunity to leverage the power of the MAPS technology to develop vaccines that can protect against infectious diseases, such as nosocomial infections, for which there are no effective immunization strategies available for children and adults today.”
Affinivax is advancing a next generation vaccine technology platform to enable the development of vaccines that provide the highest level of protection against challenging infectious diseases. Backed by an investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and working with world experts in vaccine discovery and development, Affinivax is focused on creating a pipeline of vaccines for children and adults in both the developed and developing worlds. The company’s proprietary vaccine platform, called Multiple Antigen Presentation System (MAPS), enables the high affinity binding of protective polysaccharides and proteins in a single vaccine and uniquely induces a broad and protective immune response. The MAPS technology provides a highly stable, modular, and efficient approach to develop vaccines against a wide range of diseases. The company has achieved preliminary preclinical proof-of-concept for several MAPS vaccines and is currently advancing its lead vaccine candidate against Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Nosocomial Vaccine Corporation (NVC), based in Rockville, MD was established by ClearPath Development Company (ClearPath) with the support of its partner, Astellas Pharma Inc. The strategic partnership between ClearPath and Astellas was formed to support Astellas’ goal of building a global vaccine franchise. NVC is collaborating with Affinivax Inc. and University of Maryland School of Medicine to develop a nosocomial vaccine.
ClearPath Development Company, also based in Rockville, MD, is a subsidiary of RRD International, which works with leading biopharmaceutical companies to expand product pipeline opportunities with complementary development and finance capabilities. Its business model provides biopharmaceutical companies with an alternative mechanism for accelerating product development. This model is highly capital-efficient for development of early-stage assets, enables accelerated development for existing company assets and external assets under consideration for in-licensing, and helps de-risk development projects with tailored financing structures.
Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The company focuses on urology, oncology, immunology, nephrology and neuroscience as prioritized therapeutic areas while advancing new therapeutic areas and discovery research leveraging new technologies/modalities.