SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ichor Medical Systems, whose advanced electroporation system is being tested worldwide for its ability to increase the effectiveness of DNA drugs and vaccines, has entered into an agreement with two distinguished research organizations to test a promising HIV vaccine, ADVAX, in human volunteers. Under the agreement, the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) will evaluate the ability of Ichor’s TriGrid Delivery System (TriGrid) to increase the immunogenicity of the vaccine. And the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) will provide the DNA vaccine, which has already been tested in humans using conventional delivery methods, and provide selected monitoring and data management support. The ADVAX vaccine was developed by IAVI and ADARC.
The goal of these studies is to determine if the promising immune responses observed when ADVAX was delivered into animals with Ichor’s TriGrid technology can also be observed in humans. Establishing protective immunity against HIV is particularly challenging because it will likely require both antibody and T cell responses. And while DNA vaccines may be well suited to elicit such responses, delivering sufficient vaccine into cells where the vaccine can do its work has been a stumbling block. The TriGrid dramatically improves intracellular delivery of DNA vaccines over conventional injection, thus enhancing the magnitude and breadth of immune response.
“This is another example of the wide range of applications of our TriGrid technology,” said Ichor CEO Bob Bernard. “The TriGrid platform is already being evaluated for the delivery of a cancer vaccine in patients with melanoma. It is also being utilized by the Department of Defense for the development of novel vaccines against a number of bacterial and viral pathogens. Now it will be used to deliver an HIV vaccine developed by the outstanding research team at ADARC. We are fortunate to be working with such a prestigious team and are pleased to give them support with our enabling technology.”
“We’ve had a long-standing collaboration with Ichor, covering a variety of infectious diseases. In our experience, the TriGrid is a powerful technology platform, dramatically increasing immune response to DNA vaccines in pre-clinical studies,” said Dr. David Ho, Scientific Director and CEO of ADARC. “We’re pleased to be working with Ichor to move towards a clinical evaluation of the combined ADVAX and TriGrid technologies.”
During the past five years, Ichor has been awarded over $3.5 million in Small Business Innovation Research grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to advance the development of DNA vaccines for infectious diseases. Additionally, Ichor was recently awarded two government contracts together valued at over $3 million to assist the Naval Medical Research Center and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in the development of infectious disease and biodefense vaccines.
About Ichor Medical Systems
Ichor Medical Systems, a privately-held biotech company based in San Diego, CA, has developed the first and only integrated and fully automated system for electroporation-mediated DNA administration. The TriGrid™ Delivery System enables safe, effective, and reproducible clinical application of electroporation in a manner capable of supporting development and commercialization of DNA-based products. Ichor is developing a number of these DNA-based products and is collaborating with partners on three continents in a wide range of pre-clinical and clinical studies exploring the potential treatment of diseases such as atherosclerosis, avian flu, hepatitis B, HIV, melanoma, multiple sclerosis, and others.
Ichor’s current research partners include Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, Bayhill Therapeutics, Genexine, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Pasteur Institute, Pharmexa-Epimmune, Rockefeller University, The Scripps Research Institute, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). For further information, visit www.ichorms.com.
About Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC)
The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center is the largest private HIV/AIDS research center in the world and a leader in the search for a vaccine and a cure. Founded in 1991, ADARC focuses on basic research efforts to increase understanding of the structure and function of HIV and to define the mechanism by which it destroys the immune system.
About International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
IAVI is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 24 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI’s financial and in-kind supporters include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, The John D. Evans Foundation, The New York Community Trust, the James B. Pendleton Charitable Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Starr Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Basque Autonomous Government as well as the European Union; multilateral organizations such as The World Bank; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Continental Airlines, Google Inc., Henry Schein, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. and Pfizer Inc; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Until There's A Cure Foundation; other private donors such as The Haas Trusts; and many generous individuals from around the world. For more information, see www.iavi.org.