CINCINNATI, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Blue Water Vaccines Inc. (“BWV” or “Blue Water Vaccines” or “the Company”), a biopharmaceutical company developing transformational vaccines, today announced an expanded license agreement has been signed with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (“St. Jude”). Through research funded by Blue Water Vaccines, St. Jude designed genetic constructs to express bacterial proteins on the surface of Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Blue Water Vaccines originally licensed patent rights from St. Jude in order to develop a live attenuated bacterial vaccine (candidate BWV-201) for acute otitis media (AOM) caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization in the middle ear cavity. Researchers at St. Jude have expanded on this research and identified a potential platform for vaccine creation by presenting additional antigens on the surface of S. pneumoniae, potentially allowing for protection against multiple infectious diseases. Preliminary data for this platform shows protection against S. pneumoniae and additional expressed antigens, including non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), which represents another major cause of AOM.
“This preliminary data is promising for research and development of a novel bacterial vaccine platform,” said Jason Rosch, Ph.D. and principal investigator who leads a lab at St. Jude investigating fundamental questions surrounding respiratory infections in children.
“Through this expanded license agreement, we look forward to exploring the possibility of developing this preliminary research into a new vaccine platform and addressing public health unmet needs through efficacious vaccines,” said Joseph Hernandez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Water Vaccines.
Subsequent publications and additional data surrounding this platform are forthcoming and will be provided by the Company.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports over 5 million cases of AOM in the United States each year, resulting in approximately 30 million medical care visits and over 10 million antibiotic prescriptions. AOM is the most common condition treated with antibiotics in the United States and increasing antibiotic resistance among the organisms responsible for AOM is of great public health concern. In addition to antibiotic resistance, an estimated $4.3 billion USD is spent on AOM treatment each year in the United States alone, indicating a severe unmet need for vaccine intervention.
About Blue Water Vaccines
Blue Water Vaccines Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformational vaccines to address significant health challenges globally. Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, the company holds the rights to proprietary technology developed at the University of Oxford, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The company is developing a universal flu vaccine that will provide protection from all virulent strains in addition to licensing a novel norovirus (NoV) S&P nanoparticle versatile virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine platform from CCHMC to develop vaccines for multiple infectious diseases, including norovirus/rotavirus and malaria, among others. Additionally, Blue Water Vaccines is developing a Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) vaccine candidate, designed to specifically prevent the highly infectious middle ear infections, known as Acute Otitis Media (AOM), in children. For more information, visit www.bluewatervaccines.com.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 60 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “forecast,” “estimate,” “expect,” and “intend,” among others. These forward-looking statements are based on BWV’s current expectations and actual results could differ materially. There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, risks related to the development of BWV’s vaccine candidates, including, but not limited to BWV-301; the failure to obtain FDA clearances or approvals and noncompliance with FDA regulations; delays and uncertainties caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic; risks related to the timing and progress of clinical development of our product candidates; our need for additional financing; uncertainties of patent protection and litigation; uncertainties of government or third party payor reimbursement; limited research and development efforts and dependence upon third parties; and substantial competition. As with any vaccine under development, there are significant risks in the development, regulatory approval and commercialization of new products. BWV does not undertake an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement. Investors should read the risk factors set forth in BWV’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2021 and other reports filed with the SEC on or after the date thereof. All of BWV’s forward-looking statements are expressly qualified by all such risk factors and other cautionary statements. The information set forth herein speaks only as of the date thereof.