REDWOOD CITY, Calif., December 16, 2021 – Meissa Vaccines (“Meissa”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing vaccines to prevent serious viral respiratory infections, today announced the appointments of Dan H. Barouch, M.D., Ph.D., and Mark J. Mulligan, M.D., FIDSA, to the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Barouch has contributed to the development of novel vaccine technologies through large clinical efficacy trials and the advancement of vaccine strategies for global infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. For the past 30 years, Dr. Mulligan has conducted vaccine clinical trials and clinical studies of emerging viral infections, including HIV, Zika, Ebola, H5N1 (avian influenza), pandemic influenza A H1N1 2009, and is now studying SARS-CoV-2.
“Dan is a leading physician, virologist, and immunologist who has been involved in the advancement of novel vaccine technologies through clinical proof of efficacy, and Mark has been on the front lines of vaccine clinical trials for the world’s major emerging infections over the past three decades,” said Martin Moore, Ph.D., CEO and Co-founder of Meissa Vaccines. “We welcome Dan and Mark to our Scientific Advisory Board as we continue to advance Meissa’s intranasal live attenuated vaccine candidates for RSV and for SARS-CoV-2 in the clinic. Both vaccines were developed from our AttenuBlock platform and are designed to block transmission and prevent infection.”
Dr. Mark Mulligan said, “The effort to develop nasally administered, single-dose vaccines for important viruses like RSV and COVID-19 is vital as it promises to yield effective vaccines that are easier to administer, especially for children. We ultimately need vaccines that interrupt transmission and that can be globally deployed to contribute to the control of SARS-CoV-2.”
Dr. Mulligan is the Thomas S. Murphy, Sr. Professor and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases & Immunology in the Department of Medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He is also the Inaugural Director of the NYU Langone Vaccine Center and one of the principal investigators on the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine trials. As a translational physician-scientist, he leads a research clinic and a research laboratory, which is currently dedicating its research to SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Mulligan is principal investigator for an NIH/NIAID-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) and chairs the steering committee for the NIAID-funded Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVICS) network. Dr. Mulligan received his M.D. from UT Southwestern Medical School and is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
Dr. Barouch is the William Bosworth Castle Professor of Medicine and Professor of Immunology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. His group applies their vaccine expertise to preclinical and clinical studies of infectious diseases of global significance, including HIV, Zika virus, tuberculosis, and most recently SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Barouch contributed to the development of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, which has been authorized or approved in various countries, including the United States. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2020. Dr. Barouch received his Ph.D. in immunology from Oxford University and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and he is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
About Meissa’s Intranasal COVID-19 Vaccine
While circulating IgG antibodies are important for preventing serious lung disease, nasal IgA antibodies are essential for blocking infection and transmission of respiratory viruses. Injectable vaccines typically induce only serum (IgG) antibodies that circulate in the blood, whereas intranasal vaccines also generate mucosal (IgA) antibodies in the nasal cavity. Live attenuated vaccines have historically been the most effective intranasal vaccines, but because coronaviruses are genetically unstable, a conventional live attenuated strategy is not recommended for SARS-CoV-2. To overcome this challenge, Meissa’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine (MV-014-212) was built on the company’s recombinant RSV AttenuBlock(TM) platform. This platform incorporates 10 years of research and development employing rational and precise codon deoptimization and other genetic strategies to produce a RSV vaccine backbone that provides appropriate attenuation, genetic stability, and, for COVID-19, optimized immunity directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. MV-014-212 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04798001) and positive preliminary data from the study was reported here.
About Meissa Vaccines
Meissa Vaccines was founded with a mission to protect people everywhere from life threatening respiratory viruses and a commitment to develop innovative technologies capable of delivering effective vaccines at a global scale. Meissa is advancing live attenuated vaccine candidates against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and human metapneumovirus (hMPV). These vaccine candidates have been developed using the company’s proprietary AttenuBlock(TM) synthetic biology platform, which includes codon deoptimization and technologies exclusively licensed from Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Meissa’s live attenuated vaccine candidates are formulated to be delivered as a single, intranasal, adjuvant-free, needle-free dose and are designed to generate a strong, durable immune response to prevent infection and disease. Meissa is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. For more information, please visit www.meissavaccines.com.
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