EpiVax moves growing staff to Olneyville

EPIVAX WILL celebrate its 20th anniversary in a new Olneyville office at 166 Valley St. June 15.
EPIVAX WILL celebrate its 20th anniversary in a new Olneyville office at 166 Valley St. June 15.

PROVIDENCE — Immunology engineering biotech firm EpiVax Inc. continues an eventful anniversary year with a new headquarters at 188 Valley St. in the Rising Sun building, the better to accommodate the growing business’ staff, followed by a private 20th birthday celebration June 15 and an open house June 16.

EpiVax has been experiencing about 30 percent annual growth, EpiVax founder and CEO Dr. Anne S. De Groot told PBN in August 2017. She attributes that growth to the firm’s vaccine design.

Recently, those scientists’ ranks have grown to 30 computational immunologists, algorithm experts, and immunologists. Their old Clifford Street office wasn’t big enough to accommodate the staff and allow enough room or teleconferences, said De Groot.

“The new office allows us to locate employees in groups while also making it possible to easily communicate between groups.  We also have more room for teleconference calls, and we’re located on a bikeway for outdoor exercise,” De Groot said.

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EpiVax was founded in May 1998 by De Groot (then a Brown University Associate Professor, now Research Professor and Director of the Institute for Immunology and Informatics at URI) and Bill Martin, formerly of Parexel.

The EpiVax vaccine approach is based on stringing together epitopes, or short fragments derived from pathogen proteins, that train T cells, the body’s primary immune defense, to respond to the threat of infection.

“We believe that improving access to effective vaccines and biologics has inherent human value,” De Groot and Martin said in a joint statement about the company’s anniversary. “Making better medicines and biologics (using our tools) will save research dollars and save lives. Just ‘making products’ without such tools wastes precious resources.”

“We’re especially thrilled to be participating in the development of personalized vaccines in our new venture, EpiVax Oncology. Every cancer patient deserves their own personalized cancer vaccine,” De Groot said.

The EpiVax 20th Anniversary celebration will be held June 15, with attendance by invitation only. An Open House for members of the Olneyville community will be held June 16th from 2 to 5 p.m.

EpiVax is a bioinformatics company that specializes in the application of advanced immuno-informatics tools for vaccines and biologics design.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Borkowski@PBN.com.

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