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NEW YORK, April 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Voltron Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that the Company presented to Congressional Offices and Agencies, including HHS, NIH, FDA and the DoD on Thursday April 8th. This follows dozens of recent one-on-one briefings with Congressional staffers.
Presentations focused on current challenges being faced by governments due to COVID-19 mutations and why further vaccine development and innovation, especially in vaccine platforms, is vital. This is not just true for COVID-19, but for emerging variants and future pandemic pathogens. Panelists also discussed a potential solution under development that is based on Self-Assembling Vaccine technology developed at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center and licensed by Voltron. This technology is designed to ensure that the US is ready to protect both citizens and warfighters from existing, emerging and mutating pathogens.
Panelists provided an overview of Emerging Infectious Diseases, while discussing past development of vaccines, including how the current COVID-19 vaccines were developed. Importantly, they highlighted historical and current challenges and limitations of vaccine development as well as new platforms that could minimize prior clinical risk factors.
Michael V. Callahan, M.D, MSPH, DTM&H, Division of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital; Former COVID Advisor, ASPR;/HHS, Director, DARPA BioDefense, Special Advisor, OSTP/NSC Presidents Obama and Bush (2003-2012), Clinical Envoy, Nanjing and Wuhan University Hospital
Mark C. Poznansky, MD, PhD, FRCP, FIDSA, Director Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, MGH Research Scholar, Attending Physician Infectious Diseases Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital/Associate Professor Harvard Medical School
Patrick M. Reeves, PhD, Instructor in Investigation, Massachusetts General Hospital/Instructor Harvard Medical School
Voltron recently announced positive data from its second set of preclinical animal testing of its HaloVax™ Self-Assembling Vaccine (SAV) against COVID-19. This study investigated an updated construct, based on initial testing as well as recent scientific developments, in order to identify the best balance of immune responses for prevention of this pandemic pathogen. HaloVax is being developed in conjunction with Hoth Therapeutics, Inc (NASDAQ: HOTH).
The vaccine is built on a base of a heat shock protein (HSP70)-Avidin fusion protein that activates the cellular component of the immune system; this is different from most other vaccine efforts, which have used adjuvants such as alum. The second portion of the vaccine consists of peptides derived from understanding of the COVID-19 virus, which are bound to the heat shock protein via its Avidin component and Biotin added to each string of virus targeting peptides. This enables rapid iteration and up-to-date data informed changes in the peptide sequences to enable swift production and accommodate potential changes in the pathogen itself. The selected immunogenic peptides complete the customized COVID-19 vaccine.
The current study consisted of a full near GLP preclinical mouse study evaluating whether the self- assembling vaccine, consisting of the immune activating MTBhsp70-avidin component and antigen targeting biotinylated immunogenic peptides, increased the immune response relative to controls or peptides alone.
Results demonstrated that the self-assembling vaccine construct did indeed significantly increase both helper and cytotoxic T cell responses to the vaccine targeted antigens compared to controls. This proof of concept for the SAV platform is critical to both the COVID-19 program as well as the oncology application of this cutting-edge technology. Development of both applications is ongoing.
“Our team was grateful for the opportunity to present the latest thinking on COVID-19 and ways to mitigate its impact on our country,” said Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, Voltron Therapeutics, Inc. “We remain optimistic that given the kind of safety profile we are targeting in the development of HaloVax, that recent successful preclinical testing will rapidly lead to clinical trials in humans and bring us closer to a proven and effective vaccine to help treat COVID-19 infection. Our discovery and operating teams have placed us on the cutting edge of vaccine development, leveraging our platform technology to create vaccines in a more rapid and adaptable manner.”
About Voltron Therapeutics, Inc.
Voltron Therapeutics, Inc., a Delaware corporation, was founded in 2017 to lead and accelerate the development of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC), and the Massachusetts General Hospital's novel Self Assembling Vaccine technology in a variety of indications, including in Oncology and emerging Infectious Diseases. Voltron holds an exclusive worldwide license to this technology. With the work of our world class team of researchers and physicians, this technology has shown in certain pre-clinical studies initial proof of concept in two infectious diseases (Lassa Fever and Q Fever) as well as two oncology indications (Ovarian and HPV Related Cancers). For more information please visit www.voltrontx.com.
About HaloVax™, LLC
HaloVax, LLC is a special purpose subsidiary of Voltron Therapeutics, Inc. in joint venture with Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOTH) The mission of HaloVax is to develop a novel, Self-Assembling Vaccine against COVID-19, utilizing technology licensed by Voltron Therapeutics, Inc. from the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The vaccine is being designed from a validated platform to provide customized T cell immunity against COVID-19, as well as be able to adapt rapidly to potential genetic drift of the virus. For more information, please visit www.HaloVax.com.
About Hoth Therapeutics, Inc.
Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new generation therapies for dermatological disorders. Hoth's pipeline has the potential to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from indications including atopic dermatitis, chronic wounds, psoriasis, asthma and acne. To learn more, please visit www.hoththerapeutics.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements that relate to the advancement and development of the VaxCelerate Platform, the commencement of clinical trials, the availability of data from clinical trials and other information that is not historical information. When used herein, words such as "anticipate", "being", "will", "plan", "may", "continue", and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements or information that refer to expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, performance or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking. All forward-looking statements are based upon Voltron's current expectations and various assumptions. Voltron believes there is a reasonable basis for its expectations and beliefs, but they are inherently uncertain. Voltron may not realize its expectations, and its beliefs may not prove correct. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, market conditions and any Voltron filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Consequently, forward-looking statements should be regarded solely as Voltron's current plans, estimates and beliefs. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Voltron cannot guarantee future results, events, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Voltron does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to update, republish, or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrences of unanticipated events, except as may be required by law.
Voltron Therapeutics, Inc.
Voltron Therapeutics, Inc.