PREVENT licenses Amorfix's ProMIS to develop vaccines against misfolded prion diseases

The Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc. (PREVENT), a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR), has signed an exclusive license with Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. of Missisauga, Ontario for the use of their proprietary ProMIS technology in developing vaccines (active immunotherapy) for the treatment of diseases caused by the formation of misfolded prion (PrP).

The ProMIS® technology is a computer based algorithm that predicts disease specific epitopes (DSEs) in misfolded proteins based on thermodynamic analysis to identify regions most likely to lose structure under stress or mildly denaturing conditions. This identifies epitopes which may only be exposed in disease state proteins and hence provided a means to generating a targeted immune response against these abnormal proteins leaving normal proteins unscathed. Active immunization using these DSEs formulated in a vaccine have the ability to generate antibodies in vivo that are more efficacious and have a better safety profile than the current therapeutics used.

PREVENT has licenced ProMIS targets in the prion protein for two distinct applications: as prophylactic vaccine targets to block infection by prions (as in chronic wasting disease of deer and elk), and as therapeutic vaccine targets for cancers in which the normal prion protein structure is disrupted. Dr. Neil Cashman, Chief Scientific Officer of Amorfix, said "our discovery that exposure of prion protein targets in prion disease and cancer provides a strong rationale for pursuing vaccine approaches to these two important diseases in animals and human beings."

Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd., a biotechnology and product development company is focused on diagnostics and therapeutics for misfolded protein diseases and has recently announced the completion of initial characterization of its anti-PrP antibodies in cellular assay systems, which shows selective binding to certain tumour cells, but not to normal cells.

PREVENT is focused on the mid-stage development of active vaccine candidates and, under the terms of the agreement, receives the exclusive worldwide license to use the technology including standard operating procedures and process documentation along with information on materials, suppliers and necessary equipment to facilitate the development of vaccines.                                                                                                                                                                                   



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