Vaccine designed to allow celiac disease patients to return to normal gluten containing diet.
ImmusanT, Inc. has raised $20 million in Series A financing from Vatera Healthcare Partners LLC to advance development of the biotechnology company’s immunotherapeutic vaccine Nexvax2, companion diagnostic and monitoring tool for celiac disease. The proceeds will fund the Nexvax2 therapeutic and diagnostic development plan to the point of demonstrating proof-of-concept. ImmusanT expects to initiate the next clinical trial in early 2012.
ImmusanT’s product pipeline includes Nexvax2, which combines three proprietary peptides that elicit an immune response in patients with celiac disease who carry the immune recognition gene HLA-DQ2, which includes approximately 80% of patients.
ImmusanT Scientific Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Bob Anderson discovered the three peptides responsible for making gluten toxic to people with the disease. Nexvax2 is designed to “reprogram” the T-cell reaction and tolerize celiac disease patients to the toxic effects of gluten, enabling them to return to a normal diet. Safety, tolerability and bioactivity of Nexvax2 have been established in a Phase 1 clinical study and presented at Digestive Disease Week earlier this year.
ImmusanT is also developing a proprietary whole-blood functional T-cell test for use both as a standalone diagnostic for celiac disease and as a monitoring tool for the therapeutic.
For more information, visit ImmusanT.com.