Gaithersburg, Md. — February 27, 2017 — VLP Therapeutics, LLC. (“VLP”), a biotechnology company focusing on the research and development of therapeutic and preventative vaccines and antibody agents, today announced that Danai Brooks, Managing Partner of Glen Echo Capital, has agreed to join VLP’s Advisory Board. Mr. Brooks is an experienced biotechnology executive, having led the turnaround and sale of Dyadic, a public industrial biotechnology company, to DuPont in 2015. As an advisor to VLP, Danai will assist management with the development of corporate strategy and finance.
“The addition of Mr. Brooks as an advisor to VLP will be particularly valuable as we enter into a new stage of development of our next-generation vaccines and antibody cancer therapies. Mr. Brooks brings proven expertise in the field of biotechnology, which will aid us in progressing with our business plan and developing strategic pharmaceutical alliances,” said Dr. Wataru Akahata, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VLP.
Danai Brooks added, “With VLP’s innovative i-α VLP technology, we have the opportunity to transform the pharmaceutical industry’s approach to cancer therapy, potentially decreasing treatment costs and increasing access, while improving efficacy. The opportunity to work with VLP co-founders Dr. Akahata, Dr. Ryuji Ueno and Dr. Sachiko Kuno is particularly exciting. Together, they combine leading research in the field with a track record in drug development, having founded and taken two companies public – R-Tech Ueno on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Sucampo Pharmaceutical on NASDAQ.”
While at Dyadic, Mr. Brooks furthered the development of a C1-based vaccine program with Sanofi Pasteur and other partners. He has been a featured speaker at major biotechnology industry conferences including the Global Biotechnology Congress, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology. In addition to his work in biotechnology, Mr. Brooks is the Managing Partner of Glen Echo Capital, a private equity firm that invests in lower middle market industrial and technology companies. Earlier in his career, Mr. Brooks advised healthcare and industrial clients as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan, where he led mergers and acquisitions in excess of $40 billion. Mr. Brooks holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Master of Engineering from Cornell University, a Master of Engineering Management from Northwestern University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
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.