Yale BioHaven Entrepreneurship Seminars: "VaxInnate – Engineering more Potent Vaccines against Infectious Diseases"

The Yale BioHaven Entrepreneurship Seminars series continues on Tuesday, March 14 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Anlyan Center Auditorium of Yale School of Medicine, 300 Cedar Street.

This seminar will feature VaxInnate, a local technology start-up company that is exploiting the principles of innate immunity to provide the next generation of vaccines and immune therapies for infectious diseases.

Speakers will be Jeff Powell, Vice President of Research at VaxInnate, and Ruslan M. Medzhitov, scientific co-founder of VaxInnate, professor of immunobiology at Yale, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

The innate immune system alerts the host to an infectious assault and triggers a cascade of responses — the adaptive immune response — that is the basis for vaccine activity. Recent evidence indicates that more potent and selective vaccines can be developed by presenting the immune system with disease antigens that are physically linked to particular polypeptide activators of the innate immune response.

VaxInnate is developing a high-throughput screening platform to identify these activators of the innate immune response, and to incorporate them into vaccine development for influenza, flaviviruses, other infectious diseases, and immune therapies for cancer. This approach was recently highlighted in MIT Enterprise’s Technology Review.

Founded in 2001, VaxInnate has research facilities located at 300 George Street in New Haven, Connecticut. The company completed a $23.1 million Series B round of financing in December, 2003, and was awarded $5.9 million in June, 2004, by the National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious Disease. Further information on VaxInnate is available at http://www.vaxinnate.com/ online.

The seminar will be followed by refreshments and networking. Registration is free, but required, by contacting Lucy Sargeant at lucy.sargeant@yale.edu or calling the Yale Office of Cooperative Research at 203-436-8096

Yale BioHaven Entrepreneurship Seminars are sponsored jointly by the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE), Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES), and Yale Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Society (YBPS). For further information on the seminar, please contact Catherine S. Koh at catherine.s.koh@yale.edu.

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Janet Rettig Emanuel: janet.emanuel@yale.edu, 203-432-2157