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PROVIDENCE, R.I., Aug. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- EpiVax, Inc. ("EpiVax") today announced it received funding from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to accelerate the development of personalized cancer vaccines using in silico methods. In partnership with Rhode Island Hospital, EpiVax's innovative project aims to identify cancer-specific targets, or neoantigens, capable of directing immune responses that lead to tumor elimination in the leading mouse model of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
EpiVax CEO Dr. Annie De Groot said, "Over 20 years, we have built a leading bioinformatics business by turning big data into clinically-relevant information in the context of infectious disease and biodefense. Recently we realized the tremendous potential of our technology to improve the lives of cancer patients, so we developed Ancer™: the platform for personalized cancer immunotherapy."
The Rhode Island-based company is leveraging its scientific, technological, and strategic management strengths to emerge as a key player in the budding field of personalized cancer vaccine therapy. Funds from the voucher program will be used to determine the genomic variations of the leading animal model of GBM, predict GBM antigens using the Ancer™ platform, and verify the therapeutic efficacy of vaccination with Ancer™ predicted targets.
This voucher program will position EpiVax and Lifespan partner Dr. Sadhak Sengupta as leaders in personalized cancer vaccine development and provide essential supporting data needed to jumpstart a new vaccine company, "EpiVax Oncology", which will be able to address a broad range of cancers.
Dr. Sadhak Sengupta, Director of Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Research Program at Lifespan, and Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Brown University commented, "Immunotherapy is fast emerging as the most promising weapon in the war against cancer. For complex tumors like GBM, the future of effective treatment regimen lies in personalized immunotherapy through a neoantigen based approach, using EpiVax's Ancer™ platform."
Formed in 1994, Lifespan is a five-partner not-for-profit health system based in Providence, RI which includes three teaching hospitals of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Lifespan teaching hospitals are among the top recipients in the country of research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
EpiVax is a biotechnology company based in Providence, RI and is a world leader in the fields of immunogenicity screening, protein deimmunization, and immune modulation. EpiVax is spinning out the Ancer™ platform into EpiVax Oncology, a fully owned subsidiary focused on the immunoinformatics-based design and automated synthesis of personalized cancer vaccines. http://www.epivax.com/
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