Company Collaborating With U.S. Army Researchers on Topically Applied DNA Vaccine
GeneSegues Therapeutics, a leader in the targeted delivery of RNAi and DNA therapeutics and vaccines in cancer and infectious disease, announced today it was awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to collaborate with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) to investigate and develop a passive topical DNA vaccine against Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV).
The award has a one-year period of performance with a value of $550,000, including two option periods that extend the award to 30 months and $1.3 million if all options are exercised.
The development of medical countermeasures for biodefense agents and emerging pathogens has been identified as a priority by the DTRA. VEEV poses a threat to military personnel, and to public health, due to its potential use as a bioweapon, and the VEEV pathogen is listed as a Category B agent by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
USAMRIID researchers are subject matter experts in DNA vaccines and infectious diseases including VEEV. Under this contract, GeneSegues will execute preclinical studies with USAMRIID to encapsulate and optimize USAMRIID’s DNA antigen within GeneSegues’ proprietary sub-50 nanometer capsules that can passively cross the epithelial skin barrier and target the rich immune system that resides just beneath the surface.
“Our core expertise in RNAi and DNA nanoparticle drug delivery and collaboration is an ideal match with USAMRIID’s capabilities in the proposed work to address DTRA’s needs,” said Laura Brod, Chief Executive Officer of GeneSegues. “We are extremely honored and enthused to be awarded this opportunity to support DTRA in its mission.”
About GeneSegues Therapeutics
GeneSegues Therapeutics is a Minneapolis-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the innovation of RNAi and DNA therapeutics and vaccines, delivered with proprietary sub-50 nanometer (s50) nanocapsule technology. The company is using its novel delivery platform to develop an RNAi product pipeline for the treatment of solid tumor cancers and their related metastases, and to partner with other drug developers to create new or enhanced RNAi and DNA therapeutics and vaccines.