Gaithersburg, Md.— March 14, 2016 — VLP Therapeutics, LLC. (“VLP”), a Gaithersburg-based biotechnology company focusing on the research and development of therapeutic and preventative vaccines and next generation antibody agents based upon a novel and proprietary i-α VLP vaccine technology, today announced that Louis M. Weiner, M.D., Director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, has agreed to serve as its Scientific Advisor. Dr. Weiner is an internationally recognized medical oncologist and an accomplished researcher developing novel immunotherapy oncology treatments.
“I am very excited with the addition of Dr. Weiner as our Scientific Advisor. Dr. Weiner brings tremendous clinical expertise which will facilitate our research and development effort in the oncology program. Specifically, Dr. Weiner’s advice leveraging his successful track record in developing immunotherapy to treat cancer will be critical as we move forward with the developing of the next generation of antibody cancer therapies and cancer vaccines,” said Dr. Wataru Akahata, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VLP.
In addition to serving as Director of Georgetown Lombardi, Dr. Weiner is also Chair of the Department of Oncology, Associate Vice President of Georgetown University Medical Center, and Clinical Director of Cancer Services at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Weiner is also chair of the Immunology Task Force of the American Association for Cancer Research as well as course director for the annual AACR/ASCO Clinical Methods Workshop. He serves on the steering committee of the NCI Translational Research Working Group and on the NCI’s RAID Oversight Committee. He is a standing member of the Cancer Immunopathology and Immunotherapy Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Weiner has published more than 150 scientific papers, lectures extensively on targeted therapies for cancer, and is on several journal editorial boards, including Cancer Research and Clinical Cancer Research.
About i-α VLP Technology
The immune system is a biological structure that works to protect against disease. The human immune system detects foreign objects such as viruses, bacteria or abnormal own tissues (like cancer cells) in the body, and not only tries to eliminate these objects but memorizes them so it can protect the body from these objects in the future. Vaccines utilize such immune system to protect us from various diseases.
Traditional vaccines are made using live viruses, which, though rare, cause serious safety issues. Unlike traditional vaccines, VLP’s novel, proprietary platform technology was created by utilizing virus like particles. Virus like particles are identical to the authentic native viruses in their shapes, but do not carry any genetic material of native viruses. Without genetic material, these particles cannot replicate themselves. This means that when presented to the body, immune system will recognize the particles as foreign objects, triggering effective immune responses, but without causing the side effects associated with the native virus.
Utilizing these virus like particles, VLP Therapeutics developed a proprietary, plug-and-play platform called inserted alphavirus virus-like particle (i-αVLP) using the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) VLP. Through this adaptable platform, foreign antigens can be inserted into two specific sites of the envelope protein on the surface of i-αVLP. With 240 copies of envelope protein per CHIKV VLP, each i-αVLP can display a tremendous 480 copies of an inserted antigen. This highly symmetrical, icosahedral dense array of antigens are shown to induce very strong immune responses, resulting in the superior efficacy. Additionally, unlike traditional vaccines, VLPs themselves are non-replicative because they do not carry any genetic material, and therefore are safe, having been used to make the FDA-approved vaccines for Hepatitis B virus and human papillomavirus. VLP Therapeutics has established a method to efficiently produce i-αVLPs which can be scaled for commercial production.
About VLP Therapeutics
VLP Therapeutics, LLC (VLP) was established in 2012 by seasoned biopharmaceutical veterans with mission to develop innovative medical treatment which transforms traditional vaccine and targeted antibody therapies to address global unmet medical needs. Its vision is to combat the 21st century global public health problems through revolutionary next generation i-αVLP technology platform. VLP is currently developing preventative and therapeutic vaccines as well as next generation of targeted antibody agents to treat cancer, infectious diseases, such as Malaria, Dengue Fever and Zika virus disease, and auto-immune and neurological diseases.
For more information, please visit www.vlptherapeutics.com.