Altravax, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded two research
grants worth a total of $3.45 million from the NIH's National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for research on antibody-inducing
vaccines for HIV-1. UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on
HIV/AIDS, reported that between 2.2 to 2.8 million people, including
330,000 children, were newly infected with HIV in 2011, bringing the
total number of people living with AIDS to over 34 million. Altravax
will use its proprietary MolecularBreeding™ directed evolution
technology to create vaccines that provide broad protection against the
various strains of HIV-1. The existence of a large number of virus
strains and the continued changing nature of the virus is one of the
major challenges facing the development of vaccines for HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Robert Whalen, the Chief Scientific Officer atAltravax, is a leader
in the application of the MolecularBreeding™ technology platform to
vaccine development. "We are pleased that the NIH has recognized the
value of our technology in the search for an HIV vaccine. Our proposal
to create vaccines that can more effectively stimulate the immune system
represents a novel approach, and the recent award of these two grants
will allow us to thoroughly explore this possibility. The current lack
of viable vaccine candidates limits the ability of biotechnology
companies to invest in HIV vaccine research with their own funds. We
appreciate the federal government's willingness to support the goal of a
preventative vaccine to combat the AIDS epidemic," said Dr. Whalen.
Altravax's latest research on vaccines for HIV/AIDS, performed by Dr.
Kristin Narayan and colleagues from Altravax in collaboration with The
Scripps Research Institute, will soon be published in the scientific
journal PLoS ONE, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online
In January 2010, Altravax acquired from Maxygen, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAXY)
exclusive rights to the MolecularBreeding™ technology platform for the
development of vaccines to infectious diseases. The Company has a
focused product pipeline including vaccines to prevent or treat several
About Altravax, Inc.
Altravax, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company with
headquarters in Fargo, ND and research laboratories in Sunnyvale, CA.
Altravax was founded based on the strength of a proven technology
platform that can produce novel vaccine candidates with the potential to
protect humans from infectious diseases and improve health globally.
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