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Wistar Expands Collaboration & Signs Exclusive License Agreement with Man’s Best Friend Therapeutics to Develop Novel Veterinary Vaccine Technology

PHILADELPHIA — (Nov. 2, 2017) — The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology and infectious diseases, and Man’s Best Friend Therapeutics Inc. (MBFT), an animal health company focused on advancing the standard of care for cancer and infectious diseases in companion animals, announced that they are entering into an exclusive license agreement for the advancement of immunotherapeutic vaccines for companion and domestic animals based on technology created at Wistar.

Under a sponsored research agreement established in 2016, Wistar and MBFT collaborated to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the MBFT-201 vaccine candidate for canine melanoma, leveraging the Institute’s cutting-edge vaccine research with MBFT’s expertise in developing animal health products. The vaccine was proven safe and highly effective at inducing immune responses in dogs, enabling the further advancement of MBFT-201 and the development of a portfolio of cancer and infectious disease vaccines. 

The technology is based on a platform developed and patented by Hildegund C.J. Ertl, M.D., Caspar Wistar Professor in Vaccine Research and member of Wistar’s Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, who devised an elegant approach combining the advantages of a robust vaccine technology with the power of immune checkpoint blockade therapy. 

“We are thrilled to enter the next phase of our collaboration with Wistar, an institution with exceptional credibility that produces first-class research,” said Tom Tillett, president & CEO of MBFT. “This license agreement gives us an exciting opportunity to take the highly innovative immune checkpoint inhibitor technology, which has produced groundbreaking progress in human oncological care, into veterinary medicine.”

MBFT is working to advance and standardize a platform with the potential to create other vaccines as novel, much-needed therapeutic strategies for cancer in companion animals, for which treatment options are still limited. Expanding the impact of the platform, MBTF foresees additional opportunities for the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases that affect companion animals and livestock.


About The Wistar Institute

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. Wistar’s business development team is advancing Wistar science and technology development through creative partnerships. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.

About MBF Therapeutics, Inc. (MBFT)

MBFT is a clinical-stage animal health company developing and commercializing proprietary checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy (CPII) technology based on vaccines and vaccine adjuvants exclusively licensed from the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia PA. This is a platform technology from which multiple innovative products can be developed for markets worth more than $5BM

It’s lead product is MBFT-201, a canine melanoma vaccine for dogs with Stage II/III resectable disease. MBFT has completed a Phase I study that demonstrated the safety of our adenoviral vectored product and elicited a strong immune response to key antigens in 100% of the dogs treated.

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