August 1st, 2019
Congenital infection with cytomegalovirus is one of the leading non-genetic causes of birth defects, affecting approximately one in every 150 children born in the United States, and is a leading cause worldwide of sensoneural hearing loss in babies. A CMV vaccine preventing the transmission of CMV to babies after maternal infection, would greatly reduce long-term disabilities in infants. Such a CMV vaccine is anticipated to work similarly to rubella vaccine that when given in childhood helped eliminate maternal to child transmission of the virus. A comparable CMV vaccine could potentially eradicate CMV. However, developing a CMV vaccine presents significant challenges including identifying the proper population of adults that are not infected with CMV to enroll in large clinical trials. A rapid, point-of-care CMV serostatus test would accelerate the preclinical and clinical vaccine development, provide a diagnostic or screening tool in physician’s offices and clinics, and enable efficient implementation of customized vaccination strategy in resource-limited countries.
Zymeron (www.zymeron.com) is a research-based biotechnology company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative technologies to deliver products and solutions with step-change performance. Zymeron operates as an innovation engine to advance portfolios of technologies to detect, prevent, and treat infectious diseases, immune disorders and emerging threats, and to improve the sustainability of critical life support and health maintenance.