BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aduro BioTech, Inc., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, announced today the award of three grants that demonstrate the breadth of applications for the company’s proprietary vaccine platform based on Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria). Aduro has been selected as a subcontractor to the University of New Mexico School of Medicine to continue the company’s award-winning development of vaccines for tularemia as part of a grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Aduro has received a Phase 1 National Institutes of Health (NIH) small business innovation research (SBIR) grant for the development of a therapeutic vaccine for hepatitis B virus (HBV). Aduro has also received a Phase 1 SBIR grant to develop a therapeutic vaccine for melanoma in collaboration with Dr. Nina Bhardwaj, Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Center.
Aduro has modified Listeria, which is able to induce potent and broad immune responses, to be safe for human use and to target specific molecules found in tumors and infectious diseases.
For the tularemia grant, Aduro will build on its previous success with vaccines expressing single antigens and develop vaccines that express multiple antigens to broaden the immune response. The previous success led to the “Outstanding Scientific Achievement” award from DTRA, which was presented to Aduro at the 2010 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in Orlando, Florida. Aduro’s new funding, which is entirely financed by federal money, is part of a $500,285 grant that is led by principal investigator Terry Wu at UNM. “Aduro’s platform is a key component of our program,” said Dr. Wu, “and I am excited to continue our collaboration.”
For the HBV grant, the goal is to develop a therapeutic vaccine expressing multiple HBV antigens. All preclinical vaccine development will be performed at Aduro. Dr. Peter Lauer, Head of Molecular Biology at Aduro, said “Even with an effective prophylactic vaccine for HBV, there are still more than one million chronically-infected hepatitis B patients in the United States, all of whom are at risk of developing cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. An effective therapeutic vaccine is a major unmet medical need.”
For the melanoma grant, Aduro will be responsible for developing a clinical vaccine candidate that expresses two melanoma antigens. Dr. Bhardwaj will be responsible for evaluating the immune response generated by the vaccine in multiple models. If this preclinical program is successful, Dr. Bhardwaj is expected to be the Principal Investigator for the Phase 1 clinical trial. Dr. Dirk Brockstedt, Vice President of Research and Development at Aduro, said “We are very excited to work with Dr. Bhardwaj on this project. She has been the Principal Investigator for the design and implementation of three clinical trials studying novel experimental immunotherapies for melanoma.”
The tularemia project depicted in this press release, HDTRA1-11-1-0049, is sponsored by the Department of the Defense, DTRA. The content of this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the federal government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
The HBV grant is supported by Award Number R43AI088940 from the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the melanoma grant is supported by Award Number R43CA153669 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCI, NIAID or NIH.
About Aduro BioTech
Aduro BioTech is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company with a platform technology for therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases. The platform of attenuated and targeted vaccines based on Listeria monocytogenes has been in development for 9 years and has been validated by more than 20 major publications and more than $20 million in federal and private grant and contract funding. The company’s lead therapeutic, CRS-207, is an attenuated Listeria vaccine engineered to express the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin. Information about the Phase 2 trial of CRS-207 can be found on Aduro’s website (www.adurobiotech.com) and at ClinicalTrials.gov.