The goal is to advance firm’s Phase II compound, but findings can be used in diagnostic and drug development as well.

Opexa Therapeutics established a research partnership with the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) to identify biomarkers to aid development of its multiple sclerosis (MS) vaccine candidate. In addition, the biomarkers may also be used in the development of new diagnostics and treatments for the disease.

MRF will analyze patient samples and clinical data from Opexa’s Phase IIb study with Tovaxin, a T-cell vaccine. As part of this analysis, the MRF will leverage its network of MS researchers as well as its biochemical and biological assays.

Under terms of the agreement, each party will own all program intellectual property that is conceived solely by its representatives. Intellectual property that results collaboratively will be jointly owned by Opexa and the MRF. Opexa retains the option to negotiate an exclusive license for any of the collaboration’s joint intellectual property or that which is solely owned by the MRF.

“Through our collaboration with Opexa and our analysis of patient samples from the Tovaxin Phase IIb study, we hope to discover novel therapeutic, diagnostic, and surrogate biomarker targets of components and pathways involved in the destruction, repair and remyelination of axons in the central nervous system,” says Russell Bromley, COO of the MRF.

“Research has shown that MS attacks individual patients differently. Accordingly, we expect that clinical samples from this study, in which T-cell vaccines were tailored for each subject, will help us better understand how we can identify specific myelin repair therapeutic targets to assist in the rapid development and commercialization of personalized MS treatments.”

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