EpiVax licenses tregitope technology to global pharmaceutical firm

EPIVAX CEO Anne S. De Groot said
EPIVAX CEO Anne S. De Groot said "tregitope is likely to be an important new tool for clinicians who wish to improve the lives of patients." / COURTESY SCOTT KINGSLEY

PROVIDENCE – EpiVax Inc. said Tuesday it has licensed its immune-modulating technology to a global pharmaceutical company to treat autoimmune disease and allergies.

The biotechnology company said it could not disclose the name of the global firm, noting it has taken a non-exclusive license to apply EpiVax’s novel tregitope technology to enhance its in-house therapeutic development strategy.

According to EpiVax, tregitopes are a set of peptides first discovered in human immunoglobulin by EpiVax CEO Dr. Anne S. De Groot and EpiVax CIO Bill Martin. Tregitopes are capable of engaging regulatory T cells, the human body’s natural “off switch” for inflammation, the company said.

Activation and engagement of regulatory T cells is important in autoimmune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, Chrohn’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis and allergies, the release said.

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“Tregitope is likely to be an important new tool for clinicians who wish to improve the lives of patients,” De Groot said in a statement. “We are confident that our colleagues will successfully launch this first-in-class therapy. We continue to seek additional partners for a wide range of tregitope applications including combination therapy (with a co-administered antigen with a fusion protein) for autoimmune disease, allergy, transplantation and dermatology.”

EpiVax in 2016 received a $50,000 Innovation Voucher from R.I. Commerce Corp. to work on this technology.

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