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Start-Up ImmusanT Seeks to Restore Tolerance to Gluten in Celiac Disease with Immunotherapy
Date:3/15/2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Biotechnology company ImmusanT, Inc. today announced it has established its operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is advancing its strategy to develop an immunotherapeutic vaccine, companion diagnostic and monitoring tool for celiac disease. The company completed the acquisition of a discovery platform for targeted immunotherapies from Nexpep Pty., Ltd., based in Melbourne, Australia, and secured seed financing from angel investors to advance its product pipeline to address the rapidly escalating number of patients diagnosed with celiac disease, a lifelong autoimmune disorder that is triggered by foods containing gluten, the main protein in wheat, rye and barley.

ImmusanT is focused on restoring tolerance to gluten in celiac disease by harnessing discoveries in immunology that improve diagnosis and treatment and return patients to a normal diet, good health and improved quality of life. ImmusanT's product pipeline includes Nexvax2®, a therapeutic vaccine that combines three proprietary peptides that elicit an immune response in patients with celiac disease who carry the immune recognition gene HLA-DQ2. ImmusanT Scientific Founder and Chief Scientific and Medical Officer Dr. Bob Anderson discovered the three primary peptides responsible for making gluten toxic to people with celiac disease. Safety, tolerability and bioactivity of Nexvax2 have been established in a Phase 1 clinical study completed last year and the therapeutic vaccine is ready to advance to a Phase 2a clinical trial, expected to begin in the next twelve months. Data from the Phase 1 study will be presented at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, May 7-10, 2011.

"Celiac disease is the first human immune disease for which there is comprehensive understanding of the pathogenic T-cell response. We have a solid scientific foundation from which to develop the Nexvax2 immunotherapy, as well as a companion diagnostic and monitoring tes
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SOURCE ImmusanT, Inc.
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