Gaithersburg, Md.– (PR NEWS WIRE) — October 5, 2016 — VLP Therapeutics, LLC. announced today that it has received a grant for approximately US$960,000 from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (“the GHIT Fund”) for early-stage research to develop new vaccines for dengue fever using virus-like particles that would target all four strains of the virus. Dengue fever is one of the world’s most serious public health problems, threatening more than half the world’s population, and infecting 50 to 100 million people every year.
VLP Therapeutics, a Gaithersburg-based biotechnology company that focuses on the research and development of therapeutic and preventative vaccines and next-generation antibody agents based upon a novel and proprietary vaccine technology, will share the grant with its collaborators at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (“NIID”) and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at Nagasaki University (“ITM Nagasaki University”) in Japan. VLP Therapeutics will contribute its “virus-like particle” (VLP) technology to this project. Vaccines based on VLP are known to be especially strong in eliciting immune responses in patients. A VLP-based dengue vaccine could potentially require fewer immunizations over a shorter period of time—an important factor in reducing costs and clinic visits in the developing world.
“We are very pleased to be selected as a recipient of funding from the GHIT Fund,” said Dr. Wataru Akahata, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VLP Therapeutics. “This grant will allow VLP Therapeutics, as well as our collaborators, to facilitate development of a novel vaccine that could potentially tackle all four strains of the virus, greatly reducing the burden of this neglected disease.”
Because dengue is caused by 4 types of dengue virus, it is critical that a new vaccine that is effective against all 4 types is developed. VLP Therapeutics has successfully created recombinant virus-like particles of all 4 dengue serotypes as vaccine candidates, which have shown very promising results in pre-clinical studies. GHIT Fund’s grant will enable this innovative work to continue.
About VLP Therapeutics
VLP Therapeutics was established in 2012 by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs based upon a novel, proprietary vaccine technology discovered by its co-founder Dr. Akahata. Its vision is to combat the 21st century global public health problems through revolutionary i-αVLP Technology, and the mission is to develop innovative medical treatment which transforms traditional vaccine and targeted antibody therapies to address global unmet medical needs. VLP Therapeutics is currently developing preventative and therapeutic vaccines as well as next generation of targeted antibody agents to treat cancer, infectious diseases, auto-immune diseases and neurological diseases.
About the National Institute of Infectious Diseases
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases, established in Japan in 1947, has conducted basic and applied research to combat infectious diseases and the various health problems associated with them. The Institute aims at carrying out extensive and original research projects on a variety of contagious diseases from the standpoint of preventive medicine, improving human health and welfare by suppressing infectious diseases, and clarifying and supporting the scientific background of health and medical administration of the government.
About the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University
ITM Nagasaki University, was established in 1942. Its aim is to overcome tropical diseases, particularly infectious diseases, and the various health problems associated with them, in cooperation with related institutions, to strive for excellence in the following areas:
1. Spear-head research in tropical medicine and international health
2. Global contribution through disease control and health promotion in the tropics by applying the fruits of the research
3. Cultivation of the researchers and specialists in the above fields
About GHIT Fund
Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund was established to facilitate international partnerships that bring Japanese innovation, investment, and leadership to the global fight against infectious diseases and poverty in the developing world. It achieves this mission by 1) facilitating global R&D partnerships for the discovery and development of new health technologies for the developing world; 2) investing in these global R&D partnerships through a grant-making mechanism; and 3) advancing Japan’s contribution to global health. For more information, visit www.ghitfund.org.