Excelimmune, Inc. Awarded Grant from National Institutes of Health
WOBURN, MA - October 28, 2009 - Excelimmune, Inc. (www.excelimmune.com) announced today that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the company a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to support research aimed at developing new treatments for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection, employing Excelimmune's expertise in developing novel antibody therapies for human disease. The SBIR grant will fund a project entitled "The Creation of a Human Recombinant Polyclonal Antibody Therapy against C. difficile," which will be conducted at Excelimmune's new facility in Woburn, MA and in consortium with the Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, RI.
"This grant is an important milestone for our company," said Quinton Zondervan, President and CEO of Excelimmune. "The support from the NIH will allow us to expand and accelerate our development program focused on using human recombinant polyclonal antibodies to fight infectious disease."
Excelimmune has developed a novel platform for the creation of human recombinant polyclonal antibodies. Using this platform, Excelimmune is targeting bacterial pathogens that cause disease, including C. difficile.
About Human Recombinant Polyclonal Antibodies
Human recombinant polyclonal antibodies are mixed populations of therapeutic antibodies that bind to multiple regions (epitopes) on a specific antigen or to multiple antigens (of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms), in contrast to monoclonal antibodies, which only bind to one specific epitope. By binding to multiple regions, the polyclonal antibodies allow the body to fight off illness more readily. The antibodies are cloned from naturally occurring human antibodies in a laboratory and are then manufactured for human medical use.
About Clostridium difficile
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile or C. diff) is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea and serious intestinal conditions such as colitis (inflammation of the colon) or perforation of the colon. Infection typically occurs after prolonged use of antibiotics, in the elderly (especially in those with serious underlying illnesses), and in hospitals or long-term care facilities. C. difficile infection is currently treated using intensive third-line antibiotics. During the mid- and late 1990s, the reported incidence of C. difficile infection in acute care hospitals in the United States remained stable at 30 to 40 cases per 100,000 populations. In 2005, the rate of infection (84 per 100,000) was nearly three times the 1996 rate. Increased illness rates may be due to the emergence of a highly virulent strain of C. difficile that has grown more resistant to current antibiotic regimens.
Excelimmune, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of recombinant polyclonal antibodies to create novel therapies for curing disease in humans. The next generation technology is applicable in the treatment of common bacteria, disease causing proteins, viral pathogens and cancer. Excelimmune's antibody therapies harness the diversity and effectiveness of the human body's adaptive immune system. Excelimmune, founded in 2006, is a private company located in Woburn, MA. More information regarding Excelimmune can be found at www.excelimmune.com.
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