Vax-Immune Acquires Exclusive Worldwide Rights to Baylor College of Medicine’s Ureaplasma Technology
Ureaplasma, one of the smallest bacteria known, often infects an infant via the mother, where it is present in 40 to 80 percent of all pregnancies. In preterm infants it causes pneumonia at birth and leads to chronic lung disease and may even result in death. Currently there is no way to diagnose Ureaplasma infection quickly. However, a rapid diagnosis antibiotic treatment initiated in the first few days of life could lead to a 20 to 30 percent reduction in chronic lung disease in these babies.
In November 2013, Baylor College of Medicine and Vax-Immune, LLC. entered into an exclusive world-wide license agreement to enable commercial development of BCM’s technology for the rapid diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Ureaplasma infection. Vax-Immune’s first steps toward commercialization focus on the development of a rapid point-of-care diagnostic and a neutralizing antibody for treatment of preterm infants.
Vax-Immune’s point-of-care diagnostic kit is poised to dramatically improve diagnosis and treatment of Ureaplasma infection. By quickly and accurately identifying the infection, doctors can initiate the correct treatment immediately, thus avoiding a lengthy expensive diagnostic process and treatment delays and preventing undue suffering from chronic conditions. The potential savings in hospital stays in preterm babies treated for Ureaplasma pneumonia is more than $3 billion in the United States alone.
Under the agreement, Vax-Immune obtained the right to commercialize technologies discovered by Dr. Leonard E. Weisman in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Weisman also is founder and Chief Technology Officer at Vax-Immune. His discovery of a unique antibody that binds and directly kills all tested strains of Ureaplasma forms the basis of Vax-Immune’s rapid diagnostic kit, neutralizing antibody treatment and vaccine.