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Trellis Bioscience Awarded SBIR Grant to Advance CMV Program
Date:8/16/2012

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Trellis Bioscience LLC, a private company discovering and developing novel human antibody therapeutics for the treatment of infectious disease and cancer, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) fast-track grant to advance its native human antibody against cytomegalovirus (CMV), CMV345, through preclinical development towards an Investigational New Drug (IND) application filing. The four-year, $3.3 million grant is administered by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and will support manufacturing, toxicity testing, and further documentation of efficacy including mechanism of action studies.

"Trellis has successfully deployed our proprietary CellSpot technology to discover four superlative antibodies targeting high-impact infectious diseases, including CMV, RSV and Group 1 and Group 2 Influenza," said Stote Ellsworth, President and CEO of Trellis. "This substantial SBIR funding provides validation of the strength of our program and allows us to advance our CMV product candidate towards human clinical testing, building value and reducing risk. By staying focused on rare antibody discovery and preclinical development, we stick with what we do best."

CMV infection in pregnant women who have not previously been exposed to the virus is the leading non-genetic cause of birth defects. To date, none of the multiple vaccine efforts have yielded a product with better than 50 percent reduction in fetal transmission. Trellis' lead high-affinity native human monoclonal antibody for this indication, CMV345, is intended to neutralize transmission of CMV to the fetus. Recently published research established striking efficacy for hyperimmune globulin enriched for antibodies against CMV, reducing the incidence of birth defects in sero-negative mothers from 43 percent to 13 percent with a P-value of less than 0.01.1
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