A World Without Infectious Disease
Taking the science in a bold new direction
Our approach begins with identifying the limitations of the immune system in combating a particular pathogen, the vulnerabilities of the pathogen and the reasons previous approaches have failed. We then bring to bear a powerful set of technologies that we believe will, individually or in combination, lead to effective therapies.
Our four current technologies are designed to stimulate and enhance the immune system.
We have established a robust method for capitalizing on unusually successful immune responses naturally occurring in people who are protected from, or have recovered from, infectious diseases. We identify rare antibodies from survivors that have the potential to treat and prevent rapidly evolving and/or previously untreatable pathogens via direct pathogen neutralization and immune system stimulation. We engineer the fully-human antibodies that we discover to enhance their therapeutic potential.
T Cell Platform
We are exploiting the unique immunology of human cytomegalovirus, or HCMV, a commonly occurring virus in humans, as a delivery vehicle – or vector – for vaccines to potentially treat and prevent infection by pathogens that are refractory to current vaccine technologies. HCMV is the most potent known inducer of T cell responses of any human virus and may induce potent and long-lasting T cell responses to a broader range of epitopes than observed for other viral vaccines. In addition, we can make proprietary modifications in the HCMV genome that we expect will elicit different types of pathogen-appropriate T cell responses. We call this approach “immune programming,” and believe that this platform may also have applicability beyond infectious diseases, to areas such as cancer.
Innate Immunity Platform
Moving beyond more traditional approaches that are used to evoke adaptive immunity or that directly target pathogens, where the development of resistance can occur, we plan to target host proteins as a means of creating host-directed therapies with high barriers to resistance. We believe that by leveraging the power of innate immunity, we can create medicines that break the “one-drug-for-one-bug” paradigm by producing one drug that has the properties needed to treat multiple bugs.
We are harnessing the power of siRNA to inhibit pathogen replication, eliminate key host factors necessary for pathogen survival and remove microbial immune countermeasures.