SEATTLE & SEOUL | Aug. 30, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Quratis Inc. announced Wednesday that the company had applied for the phase 2 of clinical trials in Korea for an adult tuberculosis vaccine developed by scientists at the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI). The clinical trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in the Korean population.
Quratis, which has a long-term joint research project with Yonsei University Health System and IDRI, concluded an exclusive license agreement with IDRI for a tuberculosis vaccine in 2017. Following the phase 2 clinical trials, the company plans to establish a GMP plant for the production of its vaccine by 2018 in order to gain a foothold for establishing both local and global markets.
Currently, infants in Korea are given BCG vaccines within the first four weeks of life. When given to young infants, BCG protects against severe forms of tuberculosis, such as meningitis. However, as children age, immunity from BCG vaccine wanes and revaccination is not protective. Therefore, a vaccine that can offer adults protection from infection with TB is greatly needed.
Prior to Quratis initiating a Phase 2 Korean trial, the vaccine was shown to be safe and immunogenic in Phase 1 and 2 studies in the United States and South Africa.
The vaccine, ID93+GLA-SE, was developed by IDRI by fusing selected protein antigens through analysis of bioinformatics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis worldwide. It is characterized by maintaining the stability and purity of the subunit vaccine and enhancing its efficacy by combining with an adjuvant.
For the mechanism of action of the ID93+GLA-SE vaccine, a fusion protein consists of antigens with virulence and latency originated from M. tuberculosis named ‘ID93’ and the TLR4 agonist-based immunity enhancer called ‘GLA-SE.’ It induces protective immunity against tuberculosis through three doses in adults.
Kwan Goo Cho, Quratis CEO, said: “If the clinical trials are successful, it would be very meaningful that we have the first adult tuberculosis vaccine in Korea. That is because this country has the highest incidence of tuberculosis among developed countries in the world.”
He added: “Quratis will continue to contribute to the development of Korean tuberculosis prevention and treatment through long-term research and development, thus fulfilling its commitment to improve the quality of life of patients.”
In Korea, there are about 30,000 new cases and 2,200 deaths from tuberculosis every year. Korea ranks top in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) for the incidence of tuberculosis, for tuberculosis-related deaths and for the proportion of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
About IDRI: As a nonprofit global health organization, IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute) takes a comprehensive approach to combat infectious diseases, combining the high-quality science of a research organization with the product development capabilities of a biotech company to create new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines. Founded in 1993, IDRI has 125 employees headquartered in Seattle with nearly 100 partners/collaborators around the world. For more information, visit www.idri.org.
About Quratis Inc.: Established in 2016, as a venture company in Yonsei University, Quratis works as an important base for IDRI to cover Asian region including China with its TB vaccine and other products. In addition to the tuberculosis vaccine, Quratis has a cell therapy platform technology derived from tuberculosis research. Its technology has demonstrated remarkable therapeutic effects in animal models of rheumatoid arthritis and food allergies, and can be applied to a variety of immune disorders such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lou Gehring’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, etc. For more information, please visit www.quratis.com.
IDRI: Lee Schoentrup | 206.858.6064 | firstname.lastname@example.org