GREFFEX, Inc. Awarded $18.7 Million Contract with NIH to Develop a Plug-and-Play Technology Platform to Expedite Production of Vaccine Candidates for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 09/27/2019
GREFFEX, Inc. (Aurora, CO), a Fitzsimons Innovation Community company, is a transformative leader in genetic engineering. The company was recently awarded an $18.7 million contract with the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop and exploit its GreVac vaccine platform and expedite the production of vaccine candidates for biodefense and emerging infectious diseases. Through the support of the NIH contract, GREFFEX expects to advance the development of two of its influenza vaccines through clinical trials.
Gene transfer comprises the delivery of a genetic code that instructs the recipient to modify its activity. In most cases, its goal is to initiate the synthesis of a protein. Gene therapy has diverse applications and has been used to restore normal cellular functions, deliver therapeutic molecules, and to act as a genetic vaccine. Viruses, nature’s gene delivery vehicles, have formed the basis of the most potent gene transfer vehicles. However, the biology of the underlying virus, has hampered its utility. For instance, an engineered tumor virus led to the first major clinical success of gene therapy when it delivered a cure for children suffering from an inborn form of a severe immune deficiency. However, this agent also caused life-threatening leukemia in many of the treated subjects. Therefore, the design of gene transfer vectors has switched to variants of more benign viruses. One of these vectors has already advanced to clinical use as the first FDA-licensed gene replacement therapy.
One broadly used group of vectors has been based on the adenovirus. They bear several advantages as they can be used in numerous applications. They have been proven safe, are able to target most cells of the human body, and lead to a quick and strong production of the therapeutic gene. The early generations of adenoviral vectors were constructed as minimally modified viruses. Yet, their activity was hampered by the interference of the recipient’s immune system. To realize the great potential of adenoviral vectors, they had to be completely gutted of all viral genes. In addition, production schemes had to be developed to prevent contaminations with non-therapeutic byproducts.
GREFFEX, Inc. has met these crucial goals by engineering its proprietary GreGT adenoviral vector platform, whose outstanding versatility has already led to applications in diverse fields. GREFFEX has constructed GreGT vectors to prevent the rejection of organ transplants, replace defective genes in human blood disorders and human blindness, and develop a host of different vaccines.
GREFFEX has transformed its GreGT technology into the flexible plug-and-play GreVac platform for the development of highly potent vaccines. The unique speed of this novel system has allowed GREFFEX to be the quickest responder to deliver a candidate vaccine when new infectious threats emerged. It can therefore be expected that the GreVac will ultimately alter the present paradigm of immune prophylaxis from the stockpiling of vaccines against infectious diseases with a high eruptionpotential to the just-in-timeproduction of specific vaccines. As of today, GREFFEX has fourteen vaccines in its portfolio, all of which are manufactured by an efficient and cost effective standardized production system.
About Greffex, Inc.
Founded in 2005 to pursue disruptive and proprietary technology that its scientific founder, Dr. UD Staerz, had first explored with his colleagues in 1998, GREFFEX has worked on antibody engineering and created the most versatile gene delivery vehicle with broad applications, and in process has become a leading Genetic Engineering Company. The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas and its laboratories are located in Aurora, Colorado. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.