MBF Therapeutics Collaborates with Life Science Research Leaders to Develop a Next Generation Immunotherapeutic Vaccine for SARS CoV-2

July 23, 2020 – Ambler, PA MBF Therapeutics, a leader in the development of DNA-based immunotherapeutic checkpoint inhibitor vaccines, formed a collaboration of life science industry experts for the advancement of the next-generation SARS CoV-2 vaccine toward an investigational new drug (IND).


The collaboration will advance MBF Therapeutics’ SARS CoV-2 vaccine candidate – identified as COVE-001. The team and responsibilities include:

  • MRIGlobal – pre-clinical testing

  • Rymedi - provision of integrated data and diagnostics platform

  • SSI Strategy – optimized clinical development planning; project management of the IND process

  • Aldevron– DNA vaccine formulation; scale-up and manufacturing.


MBF Therapeutics was the first company to develop an animal health vaccine using gene-based checkpoint inhibitors.


“Our goal is a better long-term solution to the current global pandemic. And that’s a next-generation vaccine that effectively prevents the spread of SARSCoV-2,” said Thomas Tillett, Chief Executive Officer, MBF Therapeutics.


“Translating our immunotherapeutic checkpoint inhibitor vaccines in animal health to usage within human health is a company goal.” He adds, “This collaboration is a unique opportunity to leverage MBF Therapeutics’ proprietary immunotherapy platform and delivery system to address our current pandemic.”


MBF Therapeutics Takes a Novel Approach to Develop a Vaccine for SARSCoV-2

MBF Therapeutics’ COVE-001 vaccine development strategy focuses on creating DNA-based vaccines that elicit potent T-cell responses to a multiplicity of conserved antigens to achieve broad-spectrum protection. MBF Therapeutics’ vaccine platform technology comprises a proprietary combination of three components:

  1. Delivery component – CaptaVax™, a delivery system based on functionalized calcium phosphate nanoparticles size-optimized for uptake by naive innate antigen presentation cells to effectively stimulate strong innate trained immunity.

  2. Immunomodulator component – Stimulatory immunomodulators that elicit potent antigen-specific antibodies and memory T cells

  3. Antigen component – Clinically relevant, protective T-cell antigens.


Leveraging MBF Therapeutics’ next-generation T-cell vaccine platform, there are three major goals of the collaboration with MRIGlobal, Rymedi, SSI Strategy, and Aldevron:

  • To develop a SARSCoV-2 vaccine that is delivered intranasally—the site of viral entry and host cell invasion. The adjuvant that will be used, CaptaVax™, is a safe, biocompatible calcium phosphate nanoparticle that elicits a strong immune response yet reduces the severity of adverse reactions to infection in susceptible individuals, such as pneumonia and cytokine storms.

  • To use gene-based immunomodulators to boost and sustain T-cell memory responses, keeping in mind that T-cell immunity is much longer lived than B-cell immunity and helping to insure a strong immune response in all patients.

  • To create a “universal” SARS vaccine by using multiple antigens from the core-conserved regions of the SARSCoV-2 virus, which will provide a vaccine that could potentially work against future mutations of the COVID-19 virus and, thus, help prevent loss of vaccine effectiveness over time.


“MBF Therapeutics formed this collaboration to apply recent immunotherapeutic advances to address the challenging global disease threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says MBF Therapeutics’ Chief Medical Officer Carl Johnson, DVM. “The urgent need for a different approach to SARS CoV-2 prevention is clear. It is a driving force for our team of collaborators to explore novel strategies, for which MBF Therapeutics’ platform technology has the potential to transform vaccine design, delivery and manufacture in the near future.”

About MBF Therapeutics: MBFT (www.mbftherapeutics.com) MBFT is a clinical-stage animal health company developing and commercializing proprietary checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy technology for cancer and infectious diseases. T-cell activation precisely targets selected antigens associated with cancer cells or infectious pathogens while preventing T-cell exhaustion, thus, yielding a durable cell-mediated immunity. Exclusively licensed from the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, PA, and combined with a proprietary nonviral delivery system, this is a platform technology from which multiple innovative products can be developed for veterinary use where cellular antigens are well defined. 

About Aldevron: Aldevron serves the biotechnology industry with custom production of nucleic acids, proteins, and antibodies. Thousands of clients use Aldevron-produced plasmids, RNA and gene editing enzymes for projects ranging from research grade to clinical trials to commercial applications. Aldevron specializes in GMP manufacturing and is known for inventing the GMP-Source® quality system. Company headquarters are in Fargo, N.D., with additional facilities in Madison, Wisc., and Freiburg, Germany. For more information, visit https://www.aldevron.com.

About MRIGlobal: MRIGlobal addresses some of the world’s greatest threats and challenges. Founded in 1944 as an independent, non-profit organization, we perform contract research for government, industry, and academia. Our customized solutions in national security and defense and health include research and development capabilities in clinical research support, infectious disease and biological threat agent detection, global biological engagement, in vitro diagnostics, and laboratory management and operations. MRIGlobal is one of two partners in the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, which manages and operates the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, for the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information, visit www.mriglobal.org.

About Rymedi: Rymedi provides blockchain-enabled, trusted B2B data transmission infrastructure designed to meet the specialized regulatory and business needs of the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Our protocol enables applications to collect data into meaningful and actionable information for end users – whether regulator audits, client reports, Smart Data analytics, digital health or a multitude of emerging uses. Rymedi's core offerings help life sciences sectors do what they do better, faster, cheaper. Meanwhile, Rymedi Labs is developing innovations that enable life sciences industries to do things that were impossible or impractical prior to emerging blockchain, AI and IoT technologies. We are powering the transition to a digitally networked era for life sciences companies, patients, and health systems. For more information, visit http://rymedi.com.

About SSI Strategy: SSI Strategy is a boutique management consulting firm that supports the needs of the Medical Affairs, Pharmacovigilance, and Clinical Development functions within Life Science companies. Our teams consisting of experienced pharmaceutical industry leaders and skilled business consultants have the knowledge needed to solve the industry's most complex problems and the capability to execute. For more information, visit https://ssistrategy.com.


Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains “forward-looking statements” concerning the development of MBF Therapeutics products, the potential benefits and attributes of those products, and the company’s expectations regarding its prospects. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause actual future events or results to differ materially from such statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release. Actual results may vary. MBF Therapeutics undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements for any reason.