United States Department of Defense Selects Ichor Medical Systems to Develop Biodefense Vaccine

by Medindia Content Team on  March 15, 2007 at 5:50 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
United States Department of Defense Selects Ichor Medical Systems to Develop Biodefense Vaccine
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ichor Medical Systems, whose advanced electroporation system is being used worldwide to increase the effectiveness of DNA drug and vaccine delivery, has been awarded a two-year contract valued at over $900,000 by the United States Department of Defense to assist the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland, in the development of a DNA vaccine for equine encephalitis. The current contract extends Ichor's long-standing relationship with USAMRIID that has generated promising results for electroporation-based delivery of a number of biodefense DNA vaccine candidates.

According to company CEO Bob Bernard, Ichor will collaborate with Dr. Connie Schmaljohn, Senior Research Scientist at USAMRIID, to evaluate an array of vaccine candidates administered using Ichor's proprietary TriGrid DNA vaccine delivery system. Dr. Schmaljohn is internationally recognized for her expertise in Virology and DNA vaccines.

"Ichor's TriGrid Delivery System dramatically enhances the magnitude and consistency of immune responses following DNA vaccination, both of which have a critical role in vaccine efficacy. We are excited that Ichor and its technology will play a part in the equine encephalitis vaccine program at USAMRIID and look forward to continuing our collaboration with a top biodefense laboratory known for its DNA vaccine research," said Bernard.

Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus (VEEV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEV), and Western Equine Encephalitis virus (WEEV) cause diseases in humans. The Centers for Disease Control classifies these viruses as category B pathogens and potential biothreat agents. EEEV and WEEV are also endemic in certain parts of the U.S., causing significant morbidity and mortality.

The official title of the Ichor project is "Electroporation for Delivery of Candidate DNA Vaccines for VEEV, EEEV, and WEEV." The contract was awarded January 22, 2007.

USAMRIID, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the lead medical research laboratory for the U.S. Biological Defense Research Program, and plays a key role in national defense and in infectious disease research. The Institute's mission is to conduct basic and applied research on biological threats resulting in medical solutions (such as vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics) to protect the warfighter. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

About Ichor Medical Systems
Ichor Medical Systems, a privately-held biotech company, is developing products based on the in vivo application of electroporation to enhance intracellular delivery of DNA drugs encoding therapeutic proteins or antigens for vaccines. Ichor's proprietary TriGrid(TM) Delivery System (TDS) is the first and only integrated and fully automated system for electroporation-mediated DNA administration. This system allows the site of DNA injection, placement of electrodes, rate of DNA administration, and timing of electrical pulse application to be consistent among different operators and patients. As a result, Ichor's TDS enables safe, effective, and reproducible clinical application of electroporation in a manner capable of supporting development and commercialization of DNA-based products. The Ichor system is currently being used on three continents in a wide range of pre-clinical and clinical studies for potential treatments of melanoma, HIV, Hepatitis B, Avian Flu, and Multiple Sclerosis.

The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Source: Bio-Bio Technology

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