PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., July 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — X-Vax Technology, Inc. (X-VAX®), a biotechnology company developing vaccines based on a new approach that mediates the killing of infected cells, today announced the appointment of Varsha K. Jain, MD as Chief Clinical Development Officer. In her new role, Dr. Jain will be responsible for strategy and execution of the company’s clinical development plan, including preparing for a Phase 1 clinical study of the company’s lead herpes candidate vaccine, ∆gD-2 (delta gD-2).
“After working with X-VAX for the past few years as a clinical consultant, I am excited to join the company as we are getting ready to initiate the first clinical study of ∆gD-2 in 2022,” said Dr. Jain. “I have been impressed by both the scientific data and the company’s experienced management team – inspired by imagination and driven by passion.”
Previously, Dr. Jain served as Senior Program Officer, Vaccine Development and Surveillance at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Earlier in her career, she oversaw influenza, herpes and Lyme disease vaccine programs in Global Vaccine Discovery and Development at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Following her medical education in India, Dr. Jain completed her Pediatrics residency and Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship in New York, and was conferred an M.D. by the University of the State of New York. She also holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Reporting to Varsha K. Jain, MD will be Guissou Dabiri, PhD, who joined X-VAX as Head of Scientific Communications, and Michael Schwartz, Head of Clinical Trials Management. As a consultant, Florian Schödel, MD, PhD continues in his role as Chief Scientific Advisor for both research and development, including scientific liaison with Albert Einstein College of Medicine, reporting to Ulf Wiinberg, President and CEO of X-VAX.
About herpes, a global epidemic
There is no approved vaccine for herpes simplex. Herpes simplex virus is categorized into 2 types: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 around the world are infected with HSV-1, while over 400 million have HSV-2. Neonatal infection can be devastating, at 60% fatality without treatment. Other complications include encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord), and infectious blindness. HSV-2 is also known to contribute significantly to the spread of HIV. Antiviral drug therapy shows only moderate efficacy and comes with significant side effects. Attempts to develop an effective vaccine have repeatedly failed.
About X-Vax Technology, Inc.
We are a biotech company committed to developing vaccines against pathogens acquired by mucosal infection such as herpes. Our research leads us to believe that the new approach we are taking could succeed in defeating herpes. We have created a candidate herpes vaccine that we call ∆gD-2 (delta gD-2) because it is based on an HSV-2 virus genetically deleted for glycoprotein D (gD-2). With it, we have been able to prevent infections caused by herpes type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) in multiple preclinical models. ∆gD-2 bypasses a key pathway of the herpes virus for immune evasion and induces Fc receptor activating antibodies that mediate antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) as the primary mechanism of protection. ADCC is induced to flag infected cells for destruction by natural immune cells.
This communication contains express or implied forward-looking statements pursuant to U.S. Federal securities laws. For example, we are using forward-looking statements when we discuss the belief that our approach could succeed in defeating herpes, that we are advancing our herpes program, and that we are ready to initiate the first clinical study of ∆gD-2 in 2022. These forward-looking statements and their implications are based on the current expectations of the management of X-VAX only, and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements: changes in technology and market requirements; we may encounter delays or obstacles in launching and/or successfully completing our clinical trials; our products may not be approved by regulatory agencies, our technology may not be validated as it progresses further and its methods may not be accepted by the scientific community; we may be unable to retain or attract key employees whose knowledge is essential to the development of our products; unforeseen scientific difficulties may develop with our process; our products may wind up being more expensive than we anticipate; results in the laboratory may not translate to equally good results in real clinical settings; results of preclinical studies may not correlate with the results of human clinical trials; our patents may not be sufficient; our products may harm recipients; changes in legislation may adversely impact us inability to timely develop and introduce new technologies, products and applications; loss of market share and pressure on pricing resulting from competition, which could cause the actual results or performance of X-VAX to differ materially from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Except as otherwise required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
SOURCE X-Vax Technology, Inc.