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Immuron Signs Shigella Vaccine Development Agreement with US Army

MELBOURNE, Australia, June 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Australian microbiome biopharmaceutical company Immuron Limited (ASX:IMC) (OTCQB:IMROY), is pleased to announce that the Company has executed Research and Development Collaboration Agreement for the development of a Shigella vaccine with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR).

Shigella is a gram-negative bacteria that cause Shigellosis, also known as bacillary dysentery, which is manifested by symptoms of diarrhea (often bloody), fever and stomach cramps starting a day or two after exposure. In 2006, WHO reported that Shigella causes about 165 million cases of severe dysentery per year, resulting in one million deaths annually, mostly among children in the developing world. There currently are no approved vaccines for Shigella.

Established in 1893, and based in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the oldest, largest, and most diverse military biomedical research institute within the U.S. Department of Defense.

The collaboration between Immuron and WRAIR will be comprised of two distinct development efforts that will proceed in parallel:

1) Investigate the anti-Shigella specific activity of antibodies contained in the current formulation of Travelan, and to assess their protective capacity in preclinical studies.

2) Creation of Shigella specific bovine immunoglobulin product utilizing WRAIR antigens and Immuron’s oral immunotherapy platform. The efficacy of these vaccines will also be tested in-vitro.

The long term goal of this collaboration is to develop therapeutics that can be utilized for both commercial and government use. Clinical trials conducted under an investigational new drug application (IND) with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would open the door for the potential approval of a Shigella vaccine that meets the needs of both military personnel and civilian populations.

Treatments that protect against enteric pathogens, specifically Shigella, are a high priority for the US Department of Defense and others traveling to, or residing in, areas in which these diseases are endemic. Infectious diseases have traditionally posed some of the greatest threats to soldiers’ health and readiness. Consequently, one of WRAIR’s missions, through its Center for Infectious Disease Research, is to develop therapeutics for the prevention and the treatment of infectious diseases that can protect soldiers’ health while deployed to endemic areas.

Thomas Liquard, CEO of Immuron commented;

“Just as our collaboration with the NIH (National Institutes of Health US) highlights the strong potential of IMM-124E in the area of fatty-liver diseases, this collaboration with WRAIR highlights the strength of Immuron’s anti-infective platform. Only after conducting thorough due diligence, did WRAIR selected Immuron to move forward.

There are currently no approved vaccines to combat this deadly disease. This partnership will allow us to potentially develop an effective next generation anti-infective at little/no costs to Immuron and bring this to the market as a prescription to generate additional revenues for our investors.”

Dr. Robert Kaminski, the Shigella Vaccine Task Area Leader at WRAIR, said:

“Diarrheal diseases caused by ETEC, Shigella and Campylobacter are ranked number two in the 2015 Global Rank List of Infectious Disease Threats for the US military. This partnership will potentially provide an additional tool to protect deployed forces and travelers to global areas where these pathogens are a major threat.”

Travelan’s active ingredient is Hyperimmune Bovine Colostrum Powder, a rich source of antibodies that bind to Enterotoxigenic E. coli in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing them from attaching to the intestinal wall and thereby neutralizing their ability to cause Travelers’ Diarrhea and its associated symptoms.

Hyperimmune Colostrum is developed under Immurons' proprietary Technology to create high titers of antibodies to a range of E. coli bacteria that is present in normal colostrum in very small amounts.

About the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research:

Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, and established in 1893, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the oldest, largest, and most diverse military biomedical research institute within the U.S. Department of Defense. With research detachments in Africa, Asia and the Caucasus region, WRAIR is comprised of two Centers of Excellence: The Center for Infectious Disease Research and The Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

For more information, visit WRAIR's website (www.wrair.army.mil).

About Immuron:

Immuron Ltd (ASX:IMC) (OTCQB:IMROY) is a microbiome company focused on developing and commercializing oral immunotherapeutics for the treatment of a many gut mediated diseases. Immuron has a unique and safe technology platform that enables a shorter development therapeutic cycle. The Company currently markets and sells Travelan® for the prevention of Travelers’ diarrhea, whilst its lead product candidate IMM-124E is in Phase 2b clinical trials for NASH and ASH. These products together with the Company’s other preclinical immunotherapy pipeline products targeting immune-related diseases currently under development, will meet a large unmet need in the market.

For more information visit: www.immuron.com

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements made in this release are forward-looking statements and are based on Immuron’s current expectations, estimates and projections. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “guidance” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although Immuron believes the forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, they are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond Immuron’s control, including those risks or uncertainties inherent in the process of both developing and commercialising technology. As a result, actual results could materially differ from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this release relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. Immuron will not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions or updates to these forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or unanticipated events occurring after the date of this release except as required by law or by any appropriate regulatory authority.


Company Contact: Thomas Liquard Chief Executive Officer AUS Ph: +61 (0)3 9824 5254 thomasliquard@immuron.com Immuron US Investor Relations: Jon Cunningham RedChip Companies, Inc. US Ph: +1 (407) 644 4256, (ext. 107) jon@redchip.com

Source:Immuron Limited