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Press Release

ImmusanT’s Immunotherapy for Celiac Disease Nexvax2 Selected as One of Informa’s Top 10 Autoimmune/Anti-Inflammatory Projects to Watch

ImmusanT Inc.
Posted on: 19 Nov 14

ImmusanT Inc. a company focused on restoring tolerance to gluten and overcoming the need for gluten-free diet in patients with celiac disease today announced that its immunotherapy Nexvax2 has been selected by Informa for its annual list of “Top 10 Autoimmune/Anti-Inflammatory Projects to Watch.”

Nexvax2 is a therapeutic designed to restore immune tolerance to gluten in patients with celiac disease that could eventually allow them to enjoy a diet containing gluten. The adjuvant-free immunotherapy is comprised solely of three gluten-derived peptides in saline that are responsible for the immune reaction that causes celiac disease.

“We believe the recognition Nexvax2 has received as one of Informa’s Top 10 Autoimmune/Anti-Inflammatory Projects to Watch testifies to the strength of our therapeutic platform and commitment to improving the lives of patients with celiac disease” said Leslie Williams president and chief executive officer of ImmusanT. “Currently the only treatment for celiac disease is the elimination of gluten from the diet which is a difficult regimen for patients to maintain. Nexvax2 is the only disease-modifying treatment in development that seeks to tolerize or reprogram patients’ immune systems to tolerate gluten. If Nexvax2 proves effective in the clinic it has the potential to establish a new precedent for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.”

Williams will present on Nexvax2 at Informa’s Therapeutics Area Partnerships conference being held on November 19-21 at The Hyatt Regency in Boston. The presentation will take place at 11:10 a.m. ET on November 20 in the Dedham Room as part of the Anti-Inflammatory/Autoimmune track.

“Selected companies have been screened using a strict set of judging criteria for the Top 10 award and represent what our committees consider among the most attractive opportunities the industry has to offer” said Marc Wortman Editorial Director Therapeutic Area Partnerships. “Winners have met rigorous criteria including unmet medical need market potential diversity of indications strong science multi-level partnering opportunities (biotech and pharma) potential for new opportunities beyond initial indications and corporate stability. As the industry leader in strategic analysis and transaction tracking our main goal is to give these companies exposure to potential investors partners and acquirers.”

Nexvax2 is effective in patients who carry the HLA-DQ2 immune recognition gene which accounts for as much as 90 percent of the global celiac disease patient population. Early clinical trials have so far proven promising with Phase 1b trial results demonstrating clear proof of mechanism and Phase 2 trials expected to begin in 2015.

ImmusanT is also developing a companion diagnostic to diagnose celiac disease non-invasively and identify patients that are likely to benefit from Nexvax2 as well as a standalone blood-based diagnostic for celiac disease.

About Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a T cell-mediated autoimmune-like disease triggered by the ingestion of gluten from wheat rye and barley. A gluten-free diet is the only current medical treatment for this disease. The community prevalence of celiac disease is 0.7 percent in the U.S. but 83 percent of cases go unrecognized. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten the individual’s immune system responds by triggering T cells to fight the offending proteins damaging the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients into the body. With no available drug therapy the only option for the approximately one percent of the global population that has celiac disease is to eliminate gluten from the diet. Compliance is often challenging and nearly half the people on the strict elimination diet still have residual damage to their small intestine.

Undiagnosed celiac disease is a major contributor to poor educational performance and failure to thrive in children. Untreated disease in adults is associated with increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis problems during pregnancy and birth short stature dental enamel hypoplasia dermatitis recurrent stomatitis and cancer.

About ImmusanT Inc.

ImmusanT is focused on restoring tolerance to gluten in celiac disease by harnessing new discoveries in immunology that aim to improve diagnosis and treatment and return patients to a normal diet good health and improved quality of life. The company is developing Nexvax2® a therapeutic vaccine for celiac disease and a companion diagnostic and monitoring tool to improve celiac disease management. ImmusanT’s targeted immunotherapy discovery platform can be applied to a variety of epitope-specific autoimmune diseases. Founded in 2010 ImmusanT is backed by Vatera Healthcare Partners. More information may be found at or follow ImmusanT on Twitter.

About the Therapeutic Area Partnerships (TAP)

A meeting for the sharpest minds in biopharma. Since its launch eight years ago TAP has come to be regarded as the industry's premier biopharmaceutical partnering event. A uniquely efficient gathering TAP brings together decision-makers to assess the most promising drug programs available for partnering in: Oncology Cardiovascular Neuroscience Infectious Diseases Anti-Inflammatory/ Autoimmune Diseases Advanced Therapies (Cellular and Gene Therapies Rare Diseases and other high value and niche areas).

Attendees have the opportunity to hear from and meet some of the industry's most talented biotechnology entrepreneurs and pharmaceutical leaders. Casual gatherings and one-on-one partnering meetings bring together business development decision makers from large pharmaceutical firms and executive leadership from innovative biotechnology firms to make this one of the industry's most productive events.

Business Wire

Last updated on: 19/11/2014

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