We have created two technologies capable of delivering disease-specific antigens. Our first technology, VaxWave®*, is a replication-defective arenavirus which induces a strong immune response for prophylactic use against infectious disease. Our second technology is TheraT®*, a replication-attenuated arenavirus which produces an even more powerful immune response that we believe is more appropriate for use in oncology.
Our proprietary VaxWave®* technology platform disables arenavirus replication by substituting one of its four structural genes with the gene for a desired antigen. The modified, replication-defective arenavirus is able to directly infect individual dendritic cells and deliver proteins that serve as antigens to activate the immune system, but is not able to replicate and spread in the body.
Advantages of VaxWave®*
Based on the preclinical and clinical data that we have generated to date, we believe our VaxWave®* technology supports the benefits of our arenavirus platform approach. Specifically, in preclinical studies and clinical trials VaxWave®* has demonstrated that it is well tolerated and has the following additional benefits:
Robust CD8+ T Cell Response as Well as Pathogen Neutralization Response Our VaxWave®* technology is designed to induce a robust CD8+ T cell and pathogen neutralizing response to fight disease. We believe our technology results in an immunotherapeutic approach with potential for greater potency than existing prophylactic treatments.
Immunological Memory and Protection Against Challenge
Our VaxWave®* technology has shown the ability to trigger a long term CD8+ T cell response of at least 12 months. Furthermore, in various animal models VaxWave®* immunization resulted in protection against infectious challenge.
Lack of Vector-specific Neutralizing Antibodies
Our VaxWave®* technology does not generate clinically meaningful vector-specific neutralizing antibodies, allowing for repeat administration which can further boost the immune response.
Our proprietary TheraT®* technology is replication-competent but attenuated. The intent of designing a replicating vector was to allow it to retain all of the beneficial properties of VaxWave®* but to induce an even more robust immune response. Unlike naturally occurring arenaviruses which have two genomic segments, our TheraT®* constructs were engineered to have three segments in order to allow for the introduction of genomic space in which to insert additional target antigens of choice. As a result of the larger genome the virus’ ability to replicate is attenuated.
Advantages of TheraT®*
Based on the preclinical data that we have generated to date, we believe our TheraT®* technology supports the benefits of our arenavirus platform approach. In addition to having the advantages of VaxWave®* technology, in preclinical studies TheraT®* has shown the following additional benefits:
Quantitatively - Even More Robust CD8+ T Cell Response
Our TheraT®* technology is designed to induce a CD8+ T cell response that directs more than 50% of a body’s T cells, which is approximately ten times greater than the response induced by VaxWave®*, to focus on a single target of choice. We believe our technology results in an immunotherapeutic approach with potential for greater potency than existing therapeutic treatments.
Qualitatively - Immunological Memory and Protection Against Challenge
Our TheraT®* technology has shown the ability to trigger a long term CD8+ T cell response. Furthermore, in various animal models TheraT®* immunization resulted in protection against a cancer re-challenge months after primary treatment and response to TheraT®*.
*Registered in Europe; Pending in the US