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Peptimmune to Collaborate on Dengue Virus Vaccine and Point-Of-Care Diagnostic With Two DOD Biomedical Research Facilities
Date:9/24/2009

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Peptimmune, Inc. ("Peptimmune"), a privately held biotechnology company announced today that it has formed a research and development collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), Silver Spring, MD to evaluate the Company's proprietary DEEP(TM) peptide copolymer technology for the potential development of dengue vaccines and point-of-care diagnostics.

After more than 70 years of work a safe and effective dengue virus (DENV) vaccine remains an elusive goal. Previous vaccine candidates have shown unpredictable interactions among the four DENVs often leading to unwanted reactogenicity and low seroconversion rates. Rapid, serotype-specific diagnosis of DENV infection is an equally perplexing problem. Existing tests are often confounded after secondary dengue infection due to extensive serotype cross-reactivity, and the rapid evolution of DENV strains in many regions of the world.

Peptimmune has developed a novel peptide copolymer-based technology, DEEP (Directed Expansion of Epitope Permutations), which may overcome these problems. The goal of this research and development collaboration is to evaluate the DEEP technology to potentially design DENV-specific peptide copolymers containing (1) potentially protective T-cell epitopes, (2) serotype-specific diagnostic epitopes, and (3) protective B-cell epitopes for generating immuno-prophylactic antibodies. WRAIR/NMRC investigators bring to the effort their expert knowledge of DENV. Evaluation of the diagnostics and vaccines generated in the collaboration will be performed in laboratory models at WRAIR/NMRC.

The results of this collaborative effort have the potential to provide important insights into dengue immunity and advance the development of a protective vaccine.

About DEEP

DEEP is a peptide copolymer technology that is able to target the hypervariable regions of viruses generating antigenic diversity to anticipate evolutionary changes and overcome immune-dominance, while preserving antigenic specificity by incorporating any desired B- or T-cell epitope. DEEP takes advantage of Peptimmune's know-how in the solid-phase manufacturing of complex peptide mixtures. The technology combines the epitope specificity of a fixed-sequence peptide with the randomness of a broadly immune-interactive copolymer.

About Peptimmune (www.peptimmune.com)

Peptimmune is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing peptide and peptide-copolymer therapeutics for the treatment of CNS and Autoimmune disorders. These therapies target MHC Class II molecules and modulating immune responses. Founded in 2002 and located in Cambridge, MA USA, the Company is led by an experienced management team and exploits its proprietary DEEP(TM) Technology to design peptides and peptide mixtures for use as novel vaccines, ligands for antibodies, and theranostics for autoimmune disorders.


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