- Doctors Lon Schneider and Jim Callaway were appointed as Nuravax's Medical and Development Directors, respectively
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM), a non-profit scientific research organization established in 1996 with the goal of understanding, preventing and curing chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, today announced the licensing of its universal vaccine platform technology, MultiTEP, to a new startup biotechnology company, Nuravax.
The proprietary MultiTEP carrier platform is the key feature of IMM's vaccine candidates. Supported by data from pre-clinical studies, it has the potential to induce therapeutically potent concentrations of antibodies against pathological proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) that accumulate in the brains of the elderly. Elderly immune systems are characterized by a deficiency of naïve T helper cells but fortunately, exhibit an increase of memory T helper cells. MultiTEP technology-based vaccines should overcome the shortcomings of aged immune systems by activating not only naïve but also memory T helper cells and mount a strong antibody response, especially in the elderly.
"T helper cells are part of the immune system and are crucial to stimulating the production of antibodies by B cells," said VP of IMM, Dr. Agadjanyan. He added, "The AD and PD vaccines in development based on our MultiTEP platform contain 12 protein segments (epitopes) from vaccines that have been administered to the general population during their lifespans. When linked together these epitopes strongly activate both naïve and memory T helper cells. By leveraging existing memory T cells, we have seen that MultiTEP can elicit a high and quick production of antibodies that could block the accumulation of pathological amyloid beta and tau in the brains of vaccinated people at risk of AD and at least delay the disease onset."
In operation, Nuravax, incubated by IMM, is focused on the commercialization of MultiTEP-based vaccines for AD, PD, and other diseases of the central nervous system. Nuravax is responsible for executing co-development and sub-licensing agreements with larger biotech and pharmaceutical companies and is led by serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Roman Kniazev, as Chief Executive Officer.
"As an entrepreneur, I have always made a point to purposely take leadership roles in my investments that have demonstrated a potential meaningful medical impact in a market with significant need and opportunity," said Roman Kniazev, CEO of Nuravax. "With this licensing agreement and the leadership of newly appointed Medical Director, a geriatric psychiatrist with expertise in AD, Dr. Lon Schneider and Development Director, Dr. Jim Callaway, an AD vaccine clinical trial expert, IMM and Nuravax are poised to change the landscape of neurodegenerative disease prevention."
Notably, COVID-19 has sped up vaccine technology development worldwide. Vaccines are the future of preventive therapy for Alzheimer's disease and Nuravax is at the forefront of this development effort. If the formation of the amyloid aggregates, hyper-phosphorylated tau tangles, or both, can be inhibited/blocked with a vaccine administered before the onset of Alzheimer's, the disease could be significantly prevented or delayed.
The Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM) is a non-profit organization created with the goal of understanding, preventing, and curing chronic human diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer, fatigue illness, autoimmune diseases, infectious and genetic diseases through innovative basic and translational molecular research programs. IMM builds scientific programs that interface with clinical programs by recruiting outstanding scientists and physicians to work in a multidisciplinary scientific environment designed for maximum innovation and productivity. IMM is advancing MuliTEP, a universal vaccine platform technology that supports the development of multiple vaccine designs based on DNA, RNA, or recombinant proteins.