Flow Pharma today announced that researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) will begin testing Flow Pharma’s FlowVax-based COVID-19 treatment candidate by challenging nonhuman primates with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, after the animals are vaccinated this month with FLOVID-20. FlowVax biomedicines utilize Flow Pharma’s patented Size Exclusion Antigen Presentation Control (SEAPAC(TM)) technology based on the benefits of making vaccine microspheres the same size as human white blood cells.
“We are happy to be working with Flow Pharma on the pre-clinical testing phase of their FlowVax COVID-19 development program. Our team has extensive experience working with a variety of viruses in various pre-clinical models and is currently focusing on animal models for COVID-19. We are very fortunate at UTMB in that we have access to the Galveston National 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.
Dr. Brasel is author/co-author of over 70 peer-reviewed articles, editorials, book chapters, and poster/podium presentations on a broad range of topics including bioaerosol science and vaccine efficacy testing against select agents. To date, no vaccines or therapeutics have been approved for human use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Dr. Brasel’s ultimate goal is FDA approval of high-profile medical countermeasures specific for biodefense-related and emerging infectious diseases.
“We designed FlowVax COVID-19 to rely on killer T-cells rather than antibodies to fight virus infections,” said Charles Herst, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Flow Pharma “This allows us to more easily target the portions of the virus least likely to mutate, because mutations can allow a virus to hide from the antibody vaccine. We took the same approach to the design of FlowVax Ebola which successfully protected mice from Ebolavirus infection in studies also performed at UTMB under Dr. Brasel’s team. The nonhuman primates at UTMB will be challenged with the same virus that causes COVID-19 in humans providing a realistic test of FlowVax COVID-19 before we begin testing in human subjects.”
“We have successfully completed many pre-clinical studies with the team at UTMB” said Reid Rubsamen, M.D., CEO, Flow Pharma. “We are very fortunate to have access to one of the first animal models in the world being developed to test vaccines designed to prevent COVID-19.”
About the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Galveston National Laboratory
The Galveston National Laboratory (GNL) is a sophisticated high containment research facility that serves as a critically important resource in the global fight against infectious diseases. The GNL is located on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch and operates under the umbrella of UTMB’s Institute for Human Infections and Immunity. The GNL is an anchor lab of the NIAID Biodefense Laboratory Network and is one of only two National Laboratories with Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) capabilities located on a U.S. university campus.
About Flow Pharma
Flow Pharma, Inc. is a San Francisco Bay Area based, biotechnology company using artificial intelligence to guide selection of neoantigen peptide targets on cancer cells or virus-infected cells for attack by the patient’s own, native immune system. These peptides can then be loaded into the FlowVax(TM) platform for administration by injection.
Flow Pharma, Inc. is conducting gene sequencing studies with neoantigen identification on breast cancer patients in the U.S. and cervical cancer patients in China, in preparation for conducting Phase I/II clinical trials planned for later this year. Neoantigens are small peptide markers expressed on cancer cells as a result of a cancer-causing viral infection or mutation of the DNA in normal cells, agents that cause transformation into cancer cells.
Forward Looking Statements
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