Altravax, Inc. Awarded $1.2 Million in Federal Funds for Vaccines for HIV/AIDS

MolecularBreeding™ technology platform offers potential of broader protection

FARGO, N.D.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Altravax, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded two SBIR grants totaling $1.2 million from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for research on antibody-inducing vaccines for HIV-1. A 2009 report from the United Nations has estimated the total number of people living with AIDS is now at over 30 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 at Altravax, is one of the leaders in the development of the MolecularBreeding™ technology platform for use in the vaccine area. “Our past research activities have made significant progress in developing novel vaccine antigens to broadly target the numerous HIV-1 strains and we are pleased that the NIH is continuing to support our research on HIV vaccines," said Dr. Whalen. "This continued federal support is a critical factor in our program to develop a preventative vaccine to combat the AIDS epidemic.”

Altravax also recently received a third NIH SBIR grant for $600,000 to support its research on “Improved Vaccines for Influenza B Virus” to create vaccines that provide broad protection against the two influenza B virus strains that co-circulate each flu season. Including its development of a therapeutic vaccine to treat chronic hepatitis B infection, Altravax is focusing on three areas of major importance for improving human health: hepatitis B, influenza and HIV.

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.

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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