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followed for a year. The trial is designed to prove safety, as well as to measure immunological response. Ideally, says Clark, the vaccine will reduce the frequency of flareups and prevent the so-called viral shedding that causes the disease to spread.
Genocea is also running early trials of vaccines designed to prevent herpes, pneumococcus, Chlamydia, and malaria. The company has generated about $6 million in grants, Clark says, from organizations such as the Gates Foundation, which has fully funded the pneumococcus program to date. “Because of the public health angle, we’ve been fortunate to attract grant funding,” he says.
Ultimately, Clark hopes to attract enough interest from Big Pharma to generate additional funding or a development deal. “Frankly, it’s a question of getting these companies to believe in what we have,” Clark says. “Once we have human data, we hope that will be the impetus for a transaction.”
You can hear more from Clark at New England’s Emerging Biotech Stars on April 4, starting at 1:30 at Biogen Idec in Cambridge. He’ll be joined by the CEOs of Dicerna, Adimab, Syndax, and Aileron. We’ll also have an interactive discussion on how to obtain grant funding, plus talks on innovation by Mark Levin of Third Rock Ventures, and George Scangos and Doug Williams of Biogen. There will be plenty of time for networking, too, so register today. And be sure to follow the event on Twitter, where we’ll be reporting all the action as #XCbiostars. We look forward to seeing you on April 4.