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Biotech Flow Pharma, Inc. Announces U.S. Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Follow-On Award

After successfully completing STTR Phase I funded design of a Marburg virus prophylactic countermeasure vaccine, Flow Pharma has received a follow-on Phase II STTR contract award to transition into vaccine manufacturing and pre-clinical testing.

Flow Pharma today announced that the Company has received a Phase II STTR contract award to continue developing a protective vaccine against Marburg virus. This award follows Flow Pharma successfully completing the Phase I STTR contract from the United States Department of Defense for the same project. Flow Pharma is working in collaboration with Dr. Trevor Brasel and his team at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas.

Chemical and Biological Defense Program Small Business Innovation Research Logo

“We are happy to be working with Flow Pharma on the pre-clinical testing phase of their FlowVax Marburg development program. Our team has extensive experience working with Marburg virus and similar viruses like Ebola in various pre-clinical models. We are very fortunate at UTMB in that we have access to unique BSL-4 laboratories, including the Galveston National Laboratory and the Robert E. Shope, MD, Laboratory, that allow us to conduct studies like these safely and at a high level of quality to ensure data integrity for sponsors like Flow Pharma,” said Trevor Brasel, Ph.D., M(ASCP)CM, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UTMB.

Chairman of Rising Tide Fund Ossama Hassanien from SF and Menlo Park visits our HQ
Chairman of Rising Tide Fund Ossama Hassanien from SF and Menlo Park visits our HQ

The peer reviewed journal Vaccine has published the results of a mouse study demonstrating efficacy of the Company’s Ebola vaccine. The article describes how Flow Pharma used the same approach to design FLOVID-20 (FlowVax COVID-19), now undergoing pre-clinical testing for protection against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Flow Pharma today announced that an article entitled “An Effective CTL Peptide Vaccine for Ebola Zaire Based on Survivors’ CD8+ Targeting of a Particular Nucleocapsid Protein Epitope with Potential Implications for COVID-19 Vaccine Design” describing work led by Flow Pharma scientists, was published today in the peer reviewed journal Vaccine, an Elsevier publication.

“Our article published today shows that a single injection of our Ebola vaccine provided 100% protection for mice exposed to Ebola virus” said Charles Herst, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Flow Pharma and first author on the article. “By relying on killer T-cells rather than antibodies, FlowVax Ebola is able to attack the nucleocapsid protein located at the center of the virus where antibodies cannot reach. We are taking the same approach with FlowVax COVID-19.”

“As a virologist interested in how the immune system reacts to viral infections, I think it is very interesting that people who previously survived Ebola and SARS-CoV-1 outbreaks were found to have killer T-cells targeting the nucleocapsid protein for those two different viruses” said Tom Hodge, Ph.D., former CDC Laboratory Director, now Flow Pharma Scientific Advisory Board member and article co-author. “Flow Pharma is now conducting pre-clinical testing for FlowVax COVID-19 which is designed to attack the nucleocapsid protein on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. By doing this we are trying to mimic the immune system response of the survivors of the SARS-CoV-1 outbreak in 2003.”

“Flow Pharma has been developing T-cell vaccines for immuno oncology and infectious disease applications using the FlowVax vaccine platform for over a decade” said Reid Rubsamen, M.D., CEO, Flow Pharma and co-author on the article. “We are happy to be using our FlowVax vaccine platform to address the new threat posed by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”