Thursday, August 03, 2023
ImmPrev Bio, Inc. has secured an exclusive license from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) for a pioneering patent, enabling the commercialization of an innovative diagnostic tool and early-stage treatment for Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. The groundbreaking research behind these discoveries was conducted by Dr. Charles Elson, the company's co-founder, and Chief Scientific Officer, along with his UAB laboratory.
Based on extensive research, ImmPrev Bio has identified that more than half of Crohn's disease patients exhibit immune responses to a specific subset of gut bacteria. Moreover, patients with a higher immune response to this antigen are prone to experiencing complications related to Crohn's disease. Building on this scientific insight, the company is developing a concomitant metabolic checkpoint inhibition therapy for Crohn's disease. Supported by strong preclinical proof-of-concept data, ImmPrev Bio's initial focus will be on patients in surgically or medically induced remission from Crohn's disease and those with new-onset Crohn's who demonstrate a high anti-flagellin response. The company believes that this approach could serve as a potential platform for treating other immune-mediated diseases in addition to Crohn's.
Dr. Elson, Chief Scientific Officer of ImmPrev Bio, expressed optimism about the innovative early-stage treatment model, stating, "We believe that our novel early-stage treatment model has the potential to enable better outcomes for Crohn's patients, who can now be identified earlier and tracked and treated more effectively. We look forward to advancing this promising therapy for the patients who need it."
First Avenue Ventures Life Science Fund I, a strategic fund with a focus on early-stage life sciences investments in Birmingham, led an investment round into ImmPrev Bio, intending to provide further support for business development and commercialization efforts. Mike Goodrich, Principal of the First Avenue Ventures Life Science Fund I, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, saying, "We are thrilled to be working with Dr. Elson on this innovative diagnostic and therapy for Crohn's disease. We are also proud to have invested in ImmPrev Bio, a company building on Elson's outstanding research to develop a treatment with the potential to offer new hope for Crohn's disease patients."
To support the commercialization efforts, ImmPrev Bio has partnered with Cascadia Drug Development Group, a team of seasoned industry experts passionate about immunology and drug development. The group is collaborating with other strategic partners to conduct additional pre-clinical experiments, confirming the lead compound, and advancing towards IND-enabling studies.