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GeneSegues gets gov’t contract to develop a topical vaccine for Venezuelan encephalitis

Minneapolis vaccine developer GeneSegues Therapeutics has a new government contract to develop a DNA vaccine against Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus – an infectious disease that has the potential to be used as a bioweapon, the feds say. It just received a $550,000 contract from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency to work with the U.S. Army Medical […]

Minneapolis vaccine developer GeneSegues Therapeutics has a new government contract to develop a DNA vaccine against Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus – an infectious disease that has the potential to be used as a bioweapon, the feds say.

It just received a $550,000 contract from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency to work with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease on the passive, topical vaccine. The contract also has two option periods that extend it to 30 months and $1.3 million, if all options are exercised.

GeneSegues plans to conduct preclinical studies with the Army’s infectious disease team. GeneSegues’ capsule technology will contain the government’s DNA antigen, so that it can safely be absorbed through the skin and get picked up by the immune system, the organizations said in a statement.

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GeneSegues develops capsules for drug delivery that are smaller than 50 nanometers, which it says increases the amount of RNAi transfer into cancer cells – the company’s primary focus. All of its work is still in the research and preclinical phases.