BlueWillow Biologics Awarded Patent for Intranasal Genital Herpes Vaccine
Vaccine Expected to Deliver Therapeutic and Preventive Protection
ANN ARBOR, Mich., (July 23, 2019) – BlueWillow Biologics® today announced the issuance of U.S. patent number 10,206,996 to BlueWillow for the development of an intranasal NanoVax® herpes simplex virus (HSV) vaccine. The patent protects the use of BlueWillow’s unique NanoVax adjuvant platform in the development of a vaccine that provides protection against HSV-1 and HSV-2, the two viruses that can cause genital herpes.
More than one in six people aged 14–49 are infected with genital herpes and an estimated 776,000 new infections occur annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Genital herpes increases a person’s risk of contracting HIV and can lead to miscarriage and premature birth in infected pregnant women. Herpes can also be passed from the mother to child during birth, potentially resulting in neonatal herpes, a fatal infection. Most genital herpes vaccine candidates have failed or been abandoned in recent years, leaving no reliable therapeutic or preventive vaccine for the disease.
BlueWillow’s intranasal NanoVax platform elicits both mucosal and systemic immunity through its novel oil-in-water nanoemulsion (NE) adjuvant, offering a unique advantage to combat sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including genital herpes. The mucosal immunity elicited by intranasal NE vaccines provides critical protection against infections at the port of entry by which a pathogen enters the body.
The intranasal NanoVax HSV vaccine has demonstrated safety and efficacy in both prophylactic and therapeutic animal models for genital herpes. In a prophylactic guinea pig study, the intranasal vaccine prevented genital herpes infection in 92 percent of animals vaccinated. Therapeutic study animals previously infected with genital herpes who received the BlueWillow vaccine reduced recurrent lesions and viral shedding by more than 50 percent compared to animals who received no treatment.
“Genital herpes is easily and often unknowingly transmitted between partners. The lifelong infection frequently causes psychological distress and negatively impacts quality of life,” said Dr. Ali Fattom, Senior Vice President of Vaccine Research and Development, BlueWillow. “After years of research in animals, we are moving closer to studies in humans where we expect results to validate the potential of this much-needed vaccine.”
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 several respiratory and sexually transmitted infections, including RSV, influenza, anthrax, prophylactic and therapeutic HSV-2 and chlamydia, as well as vaccines for selected allergic conditions. Visit BlueWillow.com for details on the company’s vaccine pipeline and studies completed to date.