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Pathogens$1.87 million for biothreat vaccine research

Published 6 January 2017

CUBRC, Inc. two weeks ago announced that CUBRC’s Biological and Medical Sciences team, in collaboration with EpiVax, Inc., has received a four-year grant worth $1.87 million from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) within the Department of Defense (DoD). CUBRC, EpiVax, and scientists at the University of Florida will be investigating immune cells from patients that were previously infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei to understand how this bacterium evades the human immune system and use that information to engineer an effective vaccine.

CUBRC, Inc. two weeks ago announced that CUBRC’s Biological and Medical Sciences team, in collaboration with EpiVax, Inc., has received a four-year grant worth $1.87 million from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) within the Department of Defense (DoD). CUBRC, EpiVax, and scientists at the University of Florida will be investigating immune cells from patients that were previously infected with Burkholderiapseudomallei to understand how this bacterium evades the human immune system and use that information to engineer an effective vaccine. CUBRC’s president and CEO, Tom McMahon, stated, “We are truly thankful for DTRA’s confidence in our proposal to research vaccine antigens for prevention of Burkholderia pseudomallei infections, an important pathogen of biothreat potential.”

CUBRC says it will leverage its technical expertise in biomedical R&D and its experience leading large federal government grants and contracts in collaboration with EpiVax and the University of Florida to execute the research. “A successful outcome of this basic research program will provide answers to some very difficult questions about how this pathogen evades the host immune system and position our team to identify multiple vaccine candidates for advanced development,” according to Katie Edwards, Ph.D., CUBRC’s Co-Principal Investigator and program lead.

EpiVax contributes immuno-informatics tools to speed the pace of vaccine development and provide rapid clues about the likelihood of success in human trials. “EpiVax has worked hard to be at the forefront of vaccine antigen selection using our proprietary computational vaccinology tools. These tools make it possible to develop safer, more efficient vaccines and accelerate the development of new vaccines for national biodefense,” said Annie De Groot, EpiVax’s CEO and Co-Principal Investigator for the program.