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EpiVax, Inc.: Our Team
EpiVax, Inc.: EpiVax Awarded a Grant for Hemophilia Therapy
EpiVax hopes to genetically modify Factor VIII so that it is not rejected by the bodies of hemophiliacs, said Daniel S. Rivera, the company's director of molecular and cellular biology.
"We've identified the regions responsible for the immune response, and now re-engineering the protein so you can give it to patients over and over again without any immunoreactive response," he
Following the two-year program, EpiVax hopes it will have developed a new drug for hemophilia that it can start testing in large animals and then scale up for a clinical trial, Rivera
credited the state's quasi-public Slater Technology Fund with providing seed funding that enabled EpiVax
to develop the technology platform that he
said is now driving the company's success.
"They've been really instrumental throughout our entire growth process," he
Vineyard Gazette - News
Once you've been exposed to the pathogen, you generate a memory, and the next time you see it, the body fights it better and you don't get sick," Daniel Rivera, the laboratory director at EpiVax and a molecular biologist, told the Gazette yesterday in a telephone interview.
The blood sample needed is small, just eight to 10 tablespoons, said Mr. Rivera
.Participants will be paid $100.
said the blood from Islanders who have had tularemia is a key component to developing a vaccine.Scientists at EpiVax
, working in concert with biologists at Brown University
and Rhode Island Hospital
, will extract T-cells from the blood and use them to develop the building blocks for a vaccine.
"We expose them to these little synthetic peptides, and if they've seen tularemia before, they give a response, the cells will get turned on and secrete a protein immune response," said Mr. Rivera
That's phase one.If successful, phase two involves testing the vaccine on mice at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
in Worcester.Mice would be vaccinated and then infected with tularemia.They would also be infected first and then treated with the vaccine to see if it was therapeutic after exposure to the bacteria, Mr. Rivera
mvtimes.com - The Martha's Vineyard Times Online: News In Brief
Julie McMurray, Epivax project manager, is returning to host an event similar to last year's, along with Dan Rivera, associate director of molecular biology at Epivax.
"The overall information we have now about tularemia is enormous, compared to even two years ago," Mr. Rivera
said."We have a good idea of what the disease is and how to combat it.
In addition to providing basic information about the disease and answering questions, Mr. Rivera
and Ms. McMurray will provide an update on the Vineyard study.
Ms. McMurray and Mr. Rivera
also will discuss a request from the National Institutes of Health asking Epivax
to collect tularemia samples for other researchers, as well.
"For a researcher to be able to get samples from such a controlled environment like the Island, it is such a valuable resource," Mr. Rivera