iBio Forges Research Collaboration with the National Institutes of Health
– NIH to evaluate iBio’s patented AI-driven epitope steering platform for Lassa fever vaccine development –
BRYAN, Texas and SAN DIEGO, June 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- iBio, Inc. (NYSEA:IBIO) (“iBio” or the “Company”), an AI-driven innovator of precision antibody immunotherapies, today announced that the Company has entered into a research collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”), a component of the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), to investigate the potential of iBio’s patented AI-driven epitope steering platform for the development of a vaccine for Lassa fever, a sometimes fatal viral disease endemic to parts of West Africa.1 There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Lassa fever.
Based on the viral epitopes identified by researchers at NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center (“VRC”), iBio will work with the VRC to determine if using iBio’s platform to steer immunity toward these epitopes offers advantages over other vaccine development approaches. Should the collaboration be successful, researchers at the VRC may assess promising candidates in both in vitro and in vivo studies, and potentially advance a lead candidate to a Phase 1 clinical trial.
“This collaboration with the NIH represents a potential new application for, and validation of our patented AI discovery platform,” said Martin Brenner, DVM, Ph.D., iBio’s Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer. “While we remain focused on deploying our core technology to internally discover and develop therapeutic candidates for oncology, we believe our differentiated vaccine development capabilities could also make us an ideal partner for RNA- and peptide-based vaccine developers.”
Epitopes represent specific regions within viral proteins that can be recognized by the human immune system. They encompass an amino acid sequence that folds into a distinct three-dimensional shape within the full-length viral protein. However, when epitope sequences are isolated, there is a risk of incorrect folding, which can obscure critical epitope regions or alter antibody binding sites. This scenario potentially undermines the generation of an effective antibody response.2
iBio's patented AI powered epitope steering platform offers a potential solution by generating engineered epitopes. These epitopes not only possess the correct amino acid sequence, but also faithfully reproduce the precise structural characteristics of the original epitope. Consequently, the immune system may gain an enhanced ability to target the original viral protein, bolstering its defensive response.
By providing engineered epitopes with the accurate sequence and structure, artificial intelligence opens up the possibility of targeting otherwise inaccessible epitopes, which could facilitate the development of vaccines against previously intractable diseases or could contribute to the creation of vaccines with improved protective capabilities.
“This approach is particularly exciting because of the potential to incorporate multiple, easily producible engineered epitopes within a single vaccine, which holds promise for a multi-faceted attack on viruses,” Dr. Brenner said. “This could lead to enhanced protection or the ability to confer immunity against diverse viral variants.”
- Lassa Fever | CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/lassa/index.html (2022).
- Malonis, R. J., Lai, J. R. & Vergnolle, O. Peptide-Based Vaccines: Current Progress and Future Challenges. Chem. Rev. 120, 3210–3229 (2020).
About iBio, Inc.
iBio develops next-generation biopharmaceuticals using computational biology and 3D-modeling of subdominant and conformational epitopes, prospectively enabling the discovery of new antibody treatments for hard-to-target cancers and other diseases. iBio’s mission is to decrease drug failures, shorten drug development timelines, and open up new frontiers against the most promising targets. For more information, visit www.ibioinc.com.
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and include statements regarding the NIH’s potential assessment of promising candidates in both in vitro and in vivo studies, and advancement of a lead candidate to a Phase 1 clinical trial; the collaboration with the NIH represents a potential new application for, and validation of our patented AI discovery platform , Company’s differentiated vaccine development capabilities making it an ideal partner for RNA- and peptide-based vaccine developers , Company’s patented AI powered epitope steering platform offering a potential solution by generating engineered epitopes, artificial intelligence opening up the possibility of targeting otherwise inaccessible epitopes and facilitating the development of vaccines against previously intractable diseases or could contribute to the creation of vaccines with improved protective capabilities, the potential to incorporate multiple, easily producible engineered epitopes within a single vaccine holding promise for a multi-faceted attack on viruses and other potential collaborations between iBio and companies specializing in vaccine development. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations and assumptions from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among others, the Company’s ability to generate successful results from the collaboration, continue to execute its growth strategy; its ability to obtain regulatory approvals for commercialization of its product candidates, or to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements; regulatory limitations relating to its ability to promote or commercialize its product candidates for specific indications; acceptance of its product candidates in the marketplace and the successful development, marketing or sale of products; its ability to maintain its license agreements; the continued maintenance and growth of its patent estate; its ability to obtain or maintain the capital or grants necessary to fund its research and development activities and whether the Company will incur unforeseen expenses or liabilities or other market factors; successful compliance with governmental regulations applicable to its manufacturing facility; competition; its ability to retain its key employees or maintain its NYSE American listing; and the other factors discussed in the Company’s filings with the SEC including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2022 and the Company’s subsequent filings with the SEC on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release on account of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law.
Released June 12, 2023