JVRS-100 is being tested in seasonal, pandemic, and universal flu vaccines as well as in genital herpes.
Juvaris BioTherapeutics completed a second close on its Series B equity financing of up to $25 million. The funds will be used to advance its adjuvant platform of cationic-lipid DNA complexes, which are designed to improve the quality and quantity of immune responses achievable with vaccines, along with its adjuvanted vaccine pipeline.
Juvaris’ lead candidate, JVRS-100, is being studied in a 472-subject Phase II trial to demonstrate its ability to improve seasonal flu vaccines for the elderly. Data thus far shows that JVRS-100 produces significant T-cell mediated immune responses and improved antibody responses without evidence of toxicity, according to the company.
Research indicates that the mechanism of action of JVRS-100 is distinct from other known adjuvants, Juvaris states. The adjuvant complex self-assembles with disease-specific antigens and induces antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses, particularly induction of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes.
Juvaris is also evaluating JVRS-100 in the preclinical setting to improve its internally developed universal flu and genital herpes vaccines. The adjuvant is in preclinical investigations being conducted with the CDC in pandemic influenza vaccines.
“We are pleased to further strengthen our investor syndicate in advance of completing our ongoing Phase II study of JVRS-100 in mid-2010 and as we continue to advance our promising vaccine portfolio,” says Grant Pickering, Juvaris president and CEO. The additional investment came from an undisclosed strategic corporate investor who joins SV Life Sciences and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in the round.