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ViThera Novel Approach Using Probiotics to Deliver Elafin Shows Promise as a Future Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Treatment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ViThera Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a developer of novel therapeutics based on engineered probiotic bacteria, announced today the publication of breakthrough data validating its approach for the delivery of elafin in treating gastrointestinal inflammation. The results were published today by the journal Science Translational Medicine and show use of recombinant probiotic and non-pathogenic food-strain bacteria to deliver elafin, a protein designed to protect human mucosal tissue during inflammation. The publication by senior author Nathalie Vergnolle and ViThera co-founder Philippe Langella describes a series of preclinical experiments successfully validating elafin as a novel treatment approach with future applications for human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

ViThera's President, Johannes Fruehauf, commented, "We are excited about the recognition that this publication entails and we congratulate Nathalie and Philippe on this important achievement." ViThera has obtained worldwide exclusive rights to the technology and is developing it further towards validation in clinical trials in close collaboration with Dr. Vergnolle and Dr. Langella. ViThera's VT301 program, currently in preclinical development, focuses on restoring and maintaining the integrity of the gut epithelium in patients with IBD by delivering elafin. This treatment is designed to help patients with active disease achieve remission faster and patients in remission to avoid flare-ups. VT301 is expected to enter clinical trials in two years for patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

About ViThera Pharmaceuticals

ViThera is a startup biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its research combines innovative molecular biology with the benefits of probiotics to create therapeutics for a variety of chronic diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. ViThera is using its EnLact™ platform, combining synthetic biology in engineered probiotic bacteria to deliver therapeutic molecules in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. ViThera is privately owned.

SOURCE ViThera Pharmaceuticals
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