Gaithersburg, Md. — May 9, 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 it completed a convertible note financing with an angel investor Dr. Tomy Kamada, through his investment firm TomyK Ltd., that supports technology startups which pioneer new markets and create new industries with their innovative technologies.
“We are very pleased with Dr. Kamada’s investment in our company and the successful closing of this financing. His evaluation of and investment in our company affirms the progress we have made to date and the investment will help accelerate our cancer vaccine program, as we prepare for clinical trials,” said VLP Therapeutics’ Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wataru Akahata. “The decision by Dr. Tomy Kamada to invest in our company is a testament to the potential of our platform technology, based on the immune checkpoint PD-1/PD-L1/PD-L2 inserted alphavirus. With this investment, combined with strong data we have obtained for our candidate vaccines, we will continue to focus on bringing safe, accessible and effective cancer vaccines to patients as quickly as possible,” he continued. Dr. Kamada noted that, “The VLP Therapeutics’ i-αVLP approach presents a breakthrough method that is applicable to a wide range of vaccine developments. I am very pleased to support the i-αVLP vaccine development approach, especially as applied towards cancer vaccines, which has to be one of the most anticipated to therapies in the world.”
About i-α VLP Technology
The human immune system is biologically designed to protect us against disease. The immune system detects foreign objects such as viruses, bacteria or abnormal self-tissues (like cancer cells) in the body, and not only tries to eliminate these foreign objects, but also “memorizes” them so it can protect the body from them in the future. Vaccines utilize the immune system to protect us from various diseases.
Traditional vaccines are made using live viruses, which, though rare, can cause serious safety risks. Unlike traditional vaccines, VLP’s novel, proprietary platform technology utilizes virus-like particles. Virus-like particles are identical to the authentic native viruses in their shapes, but do not carry the genetic material of native viruses. Without the genetic material, these particles cannot replicate themselves. This means that when the viruslike particles are presented within our bodies, our immune system will recognize the particles as foreign objects, triggering effective immune responses, but should not cause the risk of side effects associated with the native virus due to the absence of genetic material.
Utilizing these virus-like particles, VLP Therapeutics has 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 has been shown in our studies to induce very strong immune responses, resulting in its superior efficacy. VLP Therapeutics has established a method to efficiently produce i-αVLPs which it believes can be scaled for commercial production.
About VLP Therapeutics
VLP Therapeutics, LLC (“VLP”) was established in 2012 by seasoned biopharmaceutical veterans with the mission to develop innovative medical treatments which can transform traditional vaccines and targeted antibody therapies to address global unmet medical needs. Its vision is to combat 21st century global public health problems through its revolutionary next generation i-αVLP technology platform. VLP is currently developing preventative and therapeutic vaccines as well as next generation targeted antibody agents to treat cancer, infectious diseases, such as Malaria, Dengue Fever and Zika virus-based diseases, autoimmune and neurological diseases.
About TomyK Ltd.
TomyK Ltd. supports technology startups which pioneer new markets and create new industries with their innovative technologies. Founder and CEO, Dr. Tomy Kamada, was a co-founder of ACCESS Co., Ltd. (listed in Tokyo Stock Exchange: 4813), a global software company for mobile and beyond-PC markets. Dr. Kamada received a Doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Tokyo. He is also renowned as an inventor of “Compact HTML” for mobile phones, enabling successful mobile Internet services in the early days of the Internet. After retiring from ACCESS in 2012, Dr. Kamada founded TomyK Ltd. (http://tomyk.jp/en/) to actively support young, innovative startups, including the areas of Robotics and AI, IoT (Internet of Things), Human Argumentation, Biotechnology, Medical & Life Science, and other frontier technologies.
For more information, please visit www.vlptherapeutics.com.