BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ImmPrev Bio, Inc. has received an exclusive license from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) for the underlying patent to commercialize a novel diagnostic tool and early-stage treatment for Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. The Company’s co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Charles Elson, and his laboratory at UAB were responsible for the research efforts that led to the groundbreaking discoveries.
ImmPrev Bio has identified that more than half of Crohn’s disease sufferers have immune responses to a particular subset of gut bacteria. Moreover, patients with a high immune response to this antigen are likely to experience more Crohn’s disease complications. Based on this science, the Company is developing a concomitant metabolic checkpoint inhibition therapy for Crohn’s disease. With strong preclinical proof-of-concept data supporting this approach, ImmPrev Bio will first target patients in surgically or medically induced remission from Crohn’s disease as well as patients with new-onset Crohn’s who demonstrate a high anti-flagellin response. ImmPrev Bio believes this approach can lead to a platform for treating other immune-mediated diseases in addition to Crohn’s.
“We believe that our novel early-stage treatment model has the potential to enable better outcomes for Crohn’s patients, who can now be identified earlier and tracked and treated more effectively,” said Dr. Elson, Chief Scientific Officer of ImmPrev Bio. “We look forward to advancing this promising therapy for the patients who need it.”
First Avenue Ventures Life Science Fund I, a fund with a strategic focus on Birmingham-based early-stage investment opportunities in the life sciences, recently led an investment round into ImmPrev Bio. Additionally, the Fund plans to support business development and commercialization efforts. “We are thrilled to be working with Dr. Elson on this innovative diagnostic and therapy for Crohn’s disease,” said Mike Goodrich, Principal of the First Avenue Ventures Life Science Fund I. “We are also proud to have invested in ImmPrev Bio, a company building on Elson’s outstanding research to develop a treatment with the potential to offer new hope for Crohn’s disease patients.”
ImmPrev Bio has engaged Cascadia Drug Development Group to help support the commercialization efforts. The group was founded by seasoned industry experts who are passionate about immunology and drug development. The team is working with other strategic partners to conduct additional pre-clinical experiments to confirm the lead compound and advance towards IND-enabling studies.
About ImmPrev Bio, Inc.
ImmPrev Bio is a company dedicated to the development and commercialization of a novel method of treatment for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. This approach is based on the research efforts of Dr. Charles Elson, Basil I. Hirschowitz Chair in Gastroenterology and Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, and Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
About the First Avenue Ventures Life Science Fund I, LP
The mission of First Avenue Ventures is to help grow the Birmingham entrepreneurial ecosystem. To that end, First Avenue launched the First Avenue Ventures Life Science Fund I. The multi-million-dollar Fund aims to invest in early-stage drugs, therapies, and devices, with a particular focus on research developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. By providing financial and human capital, the Fund hopes to generate and scale local life science activity and to drive momentum in the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. Visit www.favfunds.com for more information.