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Icosagen and FIT Biotech Oy begin cooperation to develop anti-ebola vaccines and biological therapeutics

Estonian biotechnology company Icosagen AS and Finnish firm FIT Biotech Oy have started collaboration to develop a new anti-Ebola vaccine and biological therapeutics in order to prevent viral infection or treat already infected patients. Product developments, which are based on the technologies patented by the two companies, are being used to simultaneously create means for so-called passive and active immune therapy. Also taking part in the development work is the core laboratory of applied virology of the Institute of Technology, University of Tartu, under the leadership of Professor Andres Merits. The partners from France and Switzerland will be engaged during the clinical stage of testing of vaccines and biological therapeutics, which are planned to start in 2016.

Icosagen’s patented QMCF technology has been successfully licenced to a series of large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and is being used in the development and production of virus-like particles, antibodies, recombinant proteins, and other biological therapeutics.

FIT Biotech’s patented Gene Transport Unit (GTU®) technology has been successfully tested in the therapeutic HIV vaccine also developed by the company.

“Icosagen gladly takes this opportunity to expand its cooperation with FIT Biotech Oy. Since our technology can be effectively implemented in the development of an Ebola vaccine, we also feel an obligation to take part in the fight against Ebola,” confirms Professor Mart Ustav, CEO of Icosagen. “I am certain that we will be able to contribute, through our joint cooperation, to the prevention of infection with the Ebola virus and to the treatment of the disease,” he continued.

“FIT Biotech is very pleased at being able to apply its own developed vaccine technology in the creation of an Ebola vaccine,” admits Kalevi Reijonen, President and CEO of FIT BIOTECH Oy. “Cooperation with Icosagen and other international research groups is in line with our strategy, according to which GTU® technology is used in the creation of means and methods for next generation gene therapy and gene vaccination.”

More information:

CEO, Professor Mart Ustav, Icosagen AS, +372 522 5418,
CEO Kalevi Reijonen, FIT Biotech Oy, FIT Biotech Oy, + 358 40843 5695 ,

General questions about the companies:;

About Icosagen AS

Icosagen AS was founded in 1999, as a spin-off company from the University of Tartu, Estonia and deals with the production and sale of molecular and cellular biology and microbiological products in the field of biotechnology, and the provision of services. Icosagen Cell Factory OÜ, subsidiary of Icosagen AS, provides production service for various recombinant proteins, the licencing of QMCF technology to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and the development of test systems (Cell Based Assays) used in the development of medicinal products. The Icosagen Group has been issued the management system ISO9001:2008 certificate and ISO17025 certificate as a testing laboratory, and all our operations are carried out according to the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP).

About FIT Biotech

Biotechnology company FIT Biotech Oy was founded in 1995, and is focused on DNA vaccines and gene therapy. The company’s activity is based on its patented GTU ® (Gene Transport Unit) technology. With the aid of GTU technology particularly effective DNA vaccines are created, which are used to prevent and treat already acquired infectious diseases. Identified areas of application are HIV, tuberculosis (infectious diseases), and gene therapy (cancer, auto immune diseases). The company’s therapeutic HIV vaccine has passed successfully through critical Phase II clinical trials.

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