Avidea Technologies and University of Maryland Awarded Grant to Evaluate Avidea’s SNAPvaxTM Tolerance Vaccine (TV) for Treating Autoimmune Diseases

May 17, 2021

  • SNAPvax TV leverages self-assembling nanoparticles to target autoantigens and immunomodulators to key immune cells that promote tolerance to treat autoimmunity
  • Christopher Jewell’s lab at the University of Maryland has established preclinical models for assessing the potential of novel immunotherapies for treating autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes

BALTIMORE, Maryland – Avidea Technologies, Inc. (“Avidea”), a private biotechnology company developing immunotherapies through innovations in polymer-drug conjugate technologies, announces the award of a Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) grant to evaluate Avidea’s SNAPvaxTM platform in autoimmune disease models in collaboration with Professor Christopher Jewell in the University of Maryland Fischell Department of Bioengineering.

The SNAPvax platform is one of the most efficient platforms for priming T cell immunity reported to-date and has been extensively evaluated as a therapeutic cancer vaccine (Lynn G, et al. Nature Biotechnology, 2020). Avidea is now exploring the use of the SNAPvax platform to prime regulatory T cells that block undesired immune responses against self-antigens, which is the cause of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes.

“We have built an interdisciplinary team and infrastructure for evaluating how various materials interact with the immune system,” said Jewell, a Minta Martin Professor of Engineering at UMD. “We look forward to working with SNAPvax, a platform with potential advantages as a vaccine for promoting immune system tolerance when faced with autoimmune diseases.”

“Our team at Avidea developed SNAPvax as a universal platform for priming T cell immunity,” said Dr. Geoffrey Lynn, CEO at Avidea. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Professor Jewell and his talented team on assessing the potential of SNAPvax as a treatment for autoimmunity. Preliminary data shows the promise of SNAPvax as a treatment for autoimmune diseases, such as MS, and we are excited about expanding our relationship with UMD to assess the full potential of this technology.”

About Avidea: Avidea is a private biotechnology that is advancing the next generation of safer and more effective T cell immunotherapies for treating cancer and autoimmune diseases. Avidea’s precision immunotherapies are enabled by two polymer-drug conjugate technologies, SNAPvax and SyntholyticTM, which were purpose-built to address the need for improved T cell immunotherapies. The SNAPvax and Syntholytic platforms are enabling a pipeline of immunotherapies that will enter clinical testing in 2022 and 2023. For more information visit www.avideatechnologies.com.

About the Jewell Lab at UMD: The Jewell Research Lab – housed in the University of Maryland’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering – works to develop biomaterials that generate immune responses with specific, tunable characteristics. This goal has two complementary thrusts: basic investigations to understand the interactions between synthetic materials and the immune system, and translational studies that exploit these interactions for therapeutic vaccines targeting cancer and autoimmunity. More information is available via jewell.umd.edu and bioe.umd.edu.

About MIPS: The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) Program provides funding—matched by participating companies—for university-based research projects that help companies develop new products. Projects must deal with innovative technological or scientific concepts and have direct commercial applications. All funding goes to participating faculty. MIPS is program of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. More information is available at mips.umd.edu.

Contact: Geoffrey Lynn, PhD, Avidea’s CEO, is available to comment.