BlueWillow Biologics Awarded Grant for Chlamydia Vaccine Development
Studies Show NanoVax Technology Limits Chlamydia Infection and Prevents Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
ANN ARBOR, Mich., (September 26, 2018) – BlueWillow Biologics® today announced the company has been awarded an NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for the development of an intranasal NanoVax® vaccine for the prevention of chlamydia. There are more than 131 million new chlamydia infections worldwide each year1 and no approved vaccine currently exists to prevent the infection.
Many cases of chlamydia are not treated or reported because patients are asymptomatic and do not get tested. Untreated infections in women can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause permanent damage to the uterus, fallopian tubes and surrounding tissue. Consequences of PID include chronic pelvic pain, tubal factor infertility and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded BlueWillow—formerly NanoBio Corporation—a one-year Phase I SBIR grant (R43AI134168) to fund in vivo studies combining the company’s patented NanoVax technology with a proven chlamydia antigen developed by Dr. James Mahony at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
“When chlamydia goes undiagnosed, patients don’t get the antibiotics they need to treat the infection. An intranasal NanoVax vaccine incorporating the novel BD584 antigen could prevent chlamydia infections from occurring in the first place, reducing cases of PID,” said Mahony, an investigator under the grant. “Less PID means fewer women will suffer from pain and infertility, and healthcare costs incurred by the disease will be reduced. This vaccine could have an immeasurable global impact on quality of life, reproductive health and efficient healthcare utilization.”
BlueWillow’s NanoVax platform employs a unique oil-in-water nanoemulsion adjuvant that elicits both systemic and mucosal immune responses, which could play an important role in the prevention of chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
“Initial data shows intranasal vaccination and mucosal immunity induction with NanoVax can reduce chlamydia infections and PID in mice. With this SBIR grant, we will continue our research with the goal of advancing this preventive solution toward clinical trials,” said Dr. Ali Fattom, Senior Vice President of Vaccine Research and Development, BlueWillow. “Too many STIs including chlamydia go undiagnosed and untreated. BlueWillow remains dedicated to developing solutions that address this critical global health issue.”
1 World Health Organization. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 3 August 2016. http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)
BlueWillow Biologics® is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, focused on developing and commercializing vaccines using its patented NanoVax® technology platform. The technology employs a novel oil-in-water nanoemulsion adjuvant that is effective when administered via intranasal or intramuscular vaccination, and can elicit both mucosal and systemic immunity when applied intranasally.
BlueWillow is currently developing intranasal vaccines for infectious diseases, including RSV, pertussis, HSV2 and chlamydia, as well as intranasal vaccines for food and aeroallergens. Visit BlueWillow.com for details on the company’s vaccine pipeline and studies completed to date.