Iomai awarded key vaccine technology patent.
The patent's claims expand the coverage for the company's proprietary transcutaneous immunization (TCI) technology, a unique method of vaccine delivery with benefits including needle-free administration and the ability to deliver types of vaccines that are not viable by an intramuscular (IM) route. Iomai's TCI technology uses a patch applied to the skin like a bandage and worn for several hours to deliver vaccine and/or adjuvants to a group of antigen-presenting cells (called Langerhans cells) in the skin called that carry the vaccine to the nearby lymph nodes where they prompt a sustained immune response.
The TCI technology was initially developed by Iomai founder and chief scientific officer Dr. Gregory Glenn, M.D. when he made the observation while a researcher at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research that the skin is a highly attractive immune environment for vaccination. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has granted Iomai an exclusive worldwide license to the TCI technology.
"This patent confirms our position as the first company to design a patch-based system that administers vaccine to the skin -- a major competitive advantage," said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Iomai. "This allows us to continue our efforts to develop the first-ever vaccine for traveler's diarrhea in the United States and a needle-free influenza vaccine patch that would be simpler to administer than injectable vaccines."
The patent was awarded to the United States government and lists Dr. Glenn as a co-inventor. With the new patent, Iomai now holds the exclusive license to four United States patents and 20 foreign patents, and has filed more than a dozen non-provisional patent applications in the United States and more than 30 foreign applications.
Iomai discovers and develops vaccines and immune system stimulants, delivered via a novel, needle-free technology called transcutaneous immunization (TCI). TCI taps into the unique benefits of a major group of antigen-presenting cells found in the outer layers of the skin (Langerhans cells) to generate an enhanced immune response. Iomai is leveraging TCI to enhance the efficacy of existing vaccines, develop new vaccines that are viable only through transcutaneous administration and expand the global vaccine market. Iomai currently has four product candidates in development: three targeting influenza and pandemic flu and one to prevent E. coli-related travelers' diarrhea.