Inviragen wins US$600,000 NIAID grant for continuing dengue vaccine work

Inviragen said it received a US$600,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, “to partially support its continued efforts to develop a safe and effective dengue vaccine.” The two-year grant will fund a collaborative effort led by Inviragen and involving scientists at the University of Wisconsin and Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The supported work will include additional optimization of Inviragen’s vaccine to generate more potent immune responses. Dr. Jorge Osorio, Inviragen’s Chief Scientific Officer and Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, said, “During the preclinical characterization of our first dengue vaccine, we learned that the immune response could be further enhanced by making genetic improvements in one of the four vaccine components. This grant will fund the engineering and preclinical testing of a second generation dengue vaccine. If successful, we will incorporate the new constructs into future clinical trials.”

“Dengue viruses threaten over 3.5 billion people worldwide and cause an estimated 50 – 100 million cases of dengue fever every year. Due to global urbanization and increased travel, dengue continues to spread worldwide. Dengue fever is caused by infection with one of four different RNA viruses: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 or DEN-4. To be safe and effective, a dengue vaccine must be capable of neutralizing all four of the dengue viruses. Inviragen’s dengue vaccine technology, developed by researchers at the CDC, is based on a safe virus backbone that generates long-lasting anti-dengue immune responses. Using this technology, Inviragen has developed a four-way vaccine to protect against all four of the different viruses that cause dengue fever. Human clinical testing of the Inviragen vaccine is expected to begin in the coming months. If Inviragen’s dengue vaccine is proven to be safe and effective in human clinical trials, it may be used to protect children and adults who live in dengue-endemic countries and to protect travelers to those regions from this debilitating and dangerous disease.”

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