Provention Bio said today that it licensed an enterovirus vaccine platform that it plans to evaluate as a way to prevent the onset of Type I diabetes by vaccinating against infection by a coxsackievirus B pathogen.
Previous work has shown that CVB infection could be responsible for 50% of Type I diabetes cases worldwide, according to the Lebanon, N.J.-based company.
Provention in-licensed the vaccine technology from Finnish biotech Vactech Oy. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The company also received an investment from the JDRF T1D fund, which it expects will help advance its technology to a first-in-human proof-of-mechanism and proof-of-concept program.
“Creating a world without T1D includes prevention,” Jonathan Behr, managing director of the T1D Fund, said in prepared remarks. “Provention’s anti-viral vaccine potentially offers the prospect of drastically reducing the number of people impacted by the challenges of T1D.”
“We are extremely excited to be launching our lead program in Type I diabetes and are grateful to Vactech for allowing us the opportunity to license and develop its proprietary enterovirus vaccine platform,” Provention Bio co-founder & CEO Ashleigh Palmer added. “Equally, the JDRF T1D Fund’s confidence in our approach to reduce the impact of type 1 diabetes on a global basis leaves us deeply humbled. Imagine the possibility of reducing at least half of the world’s cases of Type I diabetes. With the help of the JDRF T1D Fund, Vactech, our cofounder MDB Capital Group LLC, and other founding investors, including Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., we are attempting to make this vision a reality.”
“The licensing agreement with Provention and the initiation of its vaccine development program targeting Type I diabetes is a watershed moment for Vactech as it validates our exhaustive research into the link between coxsackievirus B and Type I diabetes, while expanding our enterovirus platform into a substantial global development and commercialization opportunity,” Vactech Oy CEO Raimo Harju said. “We look forward to working closely with Provention as it seeks to change the paradigm of type 1 diabetes and initiates other clinical development programs targeting the interception and prevention of immune-mediated disease.”