Ann Arbor-based NanoBio Corp. has been awarded $5.5 million of a possible $10.5-million contract to improve immune response to potential pandemic flu vaccines, leading to better protection against the spread of disease.
“Only the first $5.5 million has been awarded,” says David Peralta, CEO of NanoBio. “Additional funds will be awarded as contact milestones are met.”
The funding from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will specifically support the research and development of NanoVax-Panflu, which has the potential to provide enhanced protection against infection by improving the immune system that protects the mucous membranes, found in the nostrils, eyelids, ears, and vaginal tract. Peralta says research shows that mucosal immunity is critical for pathogens that enter the body across mucosal surfaces causing respiratory infections and sexually transmitted diseases.
The biopharmaceutical company’s most recent studies have tested adjuvant vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus and type 2 genital herpes — both of which enter the body via mucosal sites.
“The results of these studies very clearly demonstrate the ability of the (adjuvant) to elicit mucosal immunity and the important role this type of immunity plays in protecting against disease,” Peralta says.
The award includes a future option to test the adjuvant with an HIV vaccine.
“With this contract support from NIAID, we will further our studies of the (adjuvant) and its important role in enhancing vaccines against challenging respiratory infections and sexually transmitted diseases,” Peralta says. “We look forward to moving our NanoVax-Panflu vaccine towards the clinic and on the path to commercialization.”