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Department of Defense selects Ichor Medical Systems to develop biodefense vaccine

Ichor Medical Systems has been awarded a two-year contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to assist the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in the development of a DNA vaccine for equine encephali

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Ichor Medical Systems has been awarded a two-year contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to assist the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in the development of a DNA vaccine for equine encephalitis.

The contract is valued at more than $900,000, the company said in a press release.

The current contract extends Ichor's long-standing relationship with USAMRIID that has generated promising results for electroporation-based delivery of a number of biodefense DNA vaccine candidates.

According to company CEO Bob Bernard, Ichor will collaborate with Dr. Connie Schmaljohn, Senior Research Scientist at USAMRIID, to evaluate an array of vaccine candidates administered using Ichor's proprietary TriGrid DNA vaccine delivery system. Dr. Schmaljohn is internationally recognized for her expertise in Virology and DNA vaccines.

"Ichor's TriGrid Delivery System dramatically enhances the magnitude and consistency of immune responses following DNA vaccination, both of which have a critical role in vaccine efficacy," Bernard said. "We are excited that Ichor and its technology will play a part in the equine encephalitis vaccine program at USAMRIID and look forward to continuing our collaboration with a top biodefense laboratory known for its DNA vaccine research."

Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus (VEEV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEV), and Western Equine Encephalitis virus (WEEV) cause diseases in humans. The Centers for Disease Control classifies these viruses as category B pathogens and potential biothreat agents. EEEV and WEEV are also endemic in certain parts of the U.S., causing significant morbidity and mortality.

The official title of the Ichor project is "Electroporation for Delivery of Candidate DNA Vaccines for VEEV, EEEV, and WEEV." The contract was awarded January 22, 2007.

Source: Ichor Medical Systems