Jul 13, 2021
CINCINNATI, July 13, 2021 -- Blue Water Vaccines, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has licensed a novel virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine platform from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati Children's). The platform utilizes nanoparticle delivery technology that may have potential broad application to develop vaccines for multiple infectious diseases.
The platform leverages norovirus capsid proteins to present foreign antigens for immune enhancement. The Cincinnati Children's researchers from the Division of Infectious Diseases bioengineered nanoparticles and polymers that are easily produced, stable and immunogenic. Developing this technology has the potential to create next generation broad vaccines for various indications and/or disease strains. Such applications include, among others, rotavirus, influenza, malaria. Blue Water Vaccines has obtained the exclusive, global license to use the novel platform for vaccine discovery, research, and development.
"Blue Water Vaccines is excited to collaborate with the incredible experts at Cincinnati Children's. We look forward to growing our pipeline with the novel platform to pursue the dual norovirus/rotavirus vaccine and to further develop our influenza program," says Joseph Hernandez, CEO of Blue Water Vaccines. "Additionally, we also hope to leverage the platform to further expand our business development initiatives with prospective collaborators that may wish to pursue the development of both individual and adjunct therapeutics based on this unique platform."
Cincinnati Children's investigators Xi Jason Jiang, PhD and Ming Tan, PhD, shared, "We have been working in infectious diseases research for a combined six decades. This milestone represents an important step toward reaching patients in need."
Blue Water Vaccines intends to apply the technology to developing its revolutionary universal vaccine for influenza and a novel, dual vaccine for norovirus and rotavirus.
Blue Water Vaccines and the University of Oxford are developing an influenza vaccine with the potential to protect against all influenza strains by targeting parts of the virus that are easy to induce a protective immune response against but also limited in variability. The potential of this vaccine thus negates the need for annual vaccination, providing potentially life-long protection against flu, and eliminating the need for reformulation of the vaccine every few years. The current influenza vaccines induce antibodies targeting regions of the virus that are highly variable and have serious shortcomings, including yearly administration and limited protection. The current standard of care against the flu is through an annual vaccination, which accounts for $4 billion in annual expenditures, as estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2010. The development of a universal flu vaccine could reduce the estimated 3 -5 million annual cases of severe illness and 290,000 – 650,000 deaths each year caused by the influenza virus affecting mostly children and the elderly, as estimated by the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2017.
The norovirus/rotavirus chimeric vaccine candidate has the potential to help prevent digestive tract infections and mitigate serious complications, such as severe diarrhea and dehydration, caused by pathogen infection. Severe gastrointestinal complications arising from norovirus or rotavirus infections are a problem globally, especially for military personnel serving abroad and for individuals in developing countries. Highly contagious, norovirus and rotavirus spread quickly from close person-to-person contact and from contaminated surfaces, water, or food, which often result in acute diarrhea, dehydration, and abdominal pain. According to the 2020 Merck Manual on Gastroenteritis in Children, gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the digestive tract due to pathogen infection, is the most common digestive disorder among children worldwide with 3 to 5 billion episodes per year. It also indicated that digestive tract infections account for 1.5 million physician visits, 200,000 hospital admissions, and up to 300 deaths annually in the U.S. alone.
About Cincinnati Children's
Cincinnati Children's ranks among the top five in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Children's Hospitals. A nonprofit, academic medical center established in 1883, Cincinnati Children's is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education, and innovation. Additional information about technologies at Cincinnati Children's may be found at Innovation.CincinnatiChildrens.org.
About Blue Water Vaccines
Blue Water Vaccines, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research and development of transformational vaccines to prevent infectious diseases worldwide. The company's lead vaccine candidates licensed from University of Oxford, BWV-101 and BWV-102, are being investigated as a universal influenza vaccine that may protect against all influenza strains and may provide a first-in-class long-term global vaccine that protects hundreds of millions globally. Blue Water Vaccine has licensed a novel and versatile norovirus VLP platform for the development of next generation vaccines from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The company also holds the rights to proprietary technology developed at St. Jude Children's Hospital for the development of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) vaccine candidate to prevent Acute Otitis Media (AOM) in children.
Olipriya Das (media)