April 29, 2014
DiaVacs today announces that it has entered into a licensing agreement with the University of Pittsburgh for intellectual property pertaining to novel dendritic cell and antisense oligonucleotide microsphere delivery technologies for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. DiaVacs plans to apply this innovative technology to the development of a microsphere formulation of an antisense-nucleotide vaccine.
According to initial studies conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, the antisense oligonucleotide microsphere technology has been shown to prevent and reverse new-onset autoimmune diabetes in the NOD mouse model of type 1 diabetes. Moreover, the microspheres are non-viral, non-toxic, and have low immune stimulating properties. These results suggest that it will be possible to deliver a bona fide vaccine for preventing type 1 diabetes in humans.
Under the terms of the agreement, DiaVacs will obtain exclusive rights in the United Statesand certain foreign countries for the development and commercialization of the novel dendritic cell and antisense oligonucleotide microsphere delivery technologies. The dendritic cell technology is owned by the University of Pittsburgh and the microsphere technology is co-owned by the University of Pittsburgh and Baxter International.
The company is planning to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial using its cell based immunotherapy product for treatment of type 1 diabetes in the fourth quarter of 2014. “We look forward to this relationship and to maximizing the significant potential of this technology to bring first-in-class therapies to patients with type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Haro Hartounian, President and Chief Executive Officer of DiaVacs.
About DiaVacs, Inc.
DiaVacs, Inc. is an emerging clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the goal of disrupting the immune processes responsible for the development of autoimmune diseases. The proprietary technologies we utilize are designed to re-induce tolerance into the patient’s immune system so that the vicious cycle of auto-immunity is halted. Our goal is to demonstrate that once the pathologic autoimmune processes are disrupted, early in the disease course, while significant beta cells remain, adequate cell mass and function can be maintained in a way that obviates the need for insulin therapy.
Our initial projects are focused on type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). T1DM, formerly known as juvenile onset diabetes, is a condition that can appear at any age but predominantly affects children and adolescents leading to a lifelong requirement for insulin injections and regular glucose monitoring. Precise insulin regulation and normalized glucose control remain elusive goals, and as a result, affected persons remain at risk for diabetes-related complications, including visual impairment, kidney disease, amputations, cardiovascular disease events and premature mortality. Historically, there are excess health care costs associated with this disease over the lifetime of affected persons, primarily due to management of late stage complications. T1DM disease is caused by the triggering of an autoimmune response against the beta cells of the pancreatic islets, which are destroyed over the course of several months, resulting in insulin dependency. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.diavacs.com.