JUPITER, Fla., July 17, 2020 /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 Isaac Blech as Vice Chairman of the company’s board of directors. As a co-founder of X-VAX, Mr. Blech previously served on the company’s Board until December 2019.
“Isaac is an accomplished biotechnology entrepreneur and investor with deep knowledge and experience,” said Ian Clark, Chairman of X-VAX. “We welcome Isaac back to the Board of Directors, as his insights gained from establishing some of the leading biotechnology companies in the world are beyond valuable.”
“I am honored to serve once again with such a dedicated and outstanding board and executive management,” said Isaac Blech. “I am excited about the prospect of beating herpes, and I look forward to working with the team as we advance the lead vaccine program and prepare for a Phase 1 clinical study.”
Isaac Blech joins the X-VAX Board alongside seven other high-profile scientific and industry executives. Over the past forty years, Mr. Blech established some of the leading biotechnology companies in the world including Celgene Corporation, ICOS Corporation, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation, Pathogenesis Corporation, and Genetics Systems Corporation. These companies have produced major advances in a broad array of diseases, including the diagnosis of chlamydia, herpes, syphilis and HIV, and the treatment of cystic fibrosis, sexual dysfunction, multiple myeloma and brain cancer.
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-2.1, 2 Neonatal infection can be devastating, at 60% fatality without treatment.3 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.4 Antiviral drug therapy shows only moderate efficacy and comes with significant side effects.5 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. The vaccine induces Fc receptor activating antibodies that mediate antibody-dependent cell-mediated killing (ADCK) as the primary mechanism of protection. ADCK is induced to flag infected cells for destruction by natural immune cells. 6, 7
This news release 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 and that we are advancing our herpes program. 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.
Looker, K.J., et al. Global and regional estimates of prevalent and incident herpes simplex virus type 1 infections in 2012. PloS one 10, e0140765 (2015).
Looker, K.J., et al. Global estimates of prevalent and incident herpes simplex virus type 2 infections in 2012. PloS one 10, e114989 (2015).
Looker, K.J., et al. First estimates of the global and regional incidence of neonatal herpes infection. Lancet Glob Health 5, e300-e309 (2017).
Looker, K.J., et al. Effect of HSV-2 infection on subsequent HIV acquisition: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect Dis 17, 1303-1316 (2017).
Sauerbrei, A. Optimal management of genital herpes: current perspectives. Infect Drug Resist 9, 129-141 (2016).
Petro C et al., Herpes simplex type 2 virus deleted in glycoprotein D protects against vaginal, skin and neural disease, Elife. 2015;4.
Petro C et al., HSV-2 ΔgD elicits FcγR-effector antibodies that protect against clinical isolates, JCI Insight. 2016;1(12).
SOURCE X-Vax Technology, Inc.