Coley Pharmaceutical Group Announces $16.9 Million Research Contract From NIH for Development of New Vaccine Adjuvants for Biodefense

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Coley Pharmaceutical Group, Inc. announced it has been awarded a $16.9 million, five-year contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support the development of novel immune-activating drugs for defense against bioterror agents.

Entitled "Innate Immune Receptors and Adjuvant Discovery," this contract will be used to expand Coley's proprietary line of TLR Therapeutic products, focusing on basic research and preclinical studies of novel immunostimulatory compounds targeting Toll-like receptors.

Toll-like receptors (TLR's) are a family of receptors found on immune cells that are understood to direct immune response by detecting and recognizing specific classes of pathogens. Coley has previously shown that its TLR Therapeutics targeting TLR9 can stimulate protective immunity against potential bioterror germs such as anthrax. Coley has received two earlier government awards for the discovery and development of advanced biodefense vaccine adjuvants and therapeutics. Together with prior awards, the new contract brings the total committed biodefense funding for Coley to $35 million.

"We have made tremendous progress in the last few years in demonstrating the potential of Coley's immune stimulants to protect against lethal doses of most potential bioterror agents," said Arthur Krieg, MD, senior vice president, R&D, who will be leading Coley's research efforts under the contract. "This contract will facilitate the expansion of our research programs beyond TLR9 agonists to additional targets that activate the immune system in different ways. We believe our research efforts from this and prior grants will enable us to fine-tune potential products designed to defend against infectious agents with or without specific vaccines by regulating immune function."

Source: Coley Pharmaceutical Group