Yaso Therapeutics to test novel STI drug against pregnancy

May 11, 2017 - PHOENIX, AZ

Yaso Therapeutics, Inc. announces the award of a fourth SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), enabling the firm to complete preclinical testing of a novel polymer, PPCM, as a contraceptive. The drug also shows promise in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

CEO Mary Weitzel explains that the active pharmaceutical ingredient, PPCM, has known activity against not only sperm but also certain viruses---including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and herpes simplex virus or HSV, the virus that causes genital herpes---and one bacterium, N. Gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea.

“This two-year, $1,970,000 award will enable Yaso Therapeutics to confirm whether PPCM works as we hope, as both a topical, non-hormonal contraceptive and an agent that can help prevent incurable sexually transmitted infections,” says Weitzel.

“All preclinical safety studies indicate that the drug is safe and non-irritating. If later tests bear out these findings, PPCM could provide a new contraceptive and anti-infective option for women around the world.”

Yaso Therapeutics, Inc. has an exclusive, worldwide license for the use of PPCM from the University of Illinois-Chicago and Rush University, which jointly hold a patent for the drug.

Established in 2005 as Yaso Biotechnology, Inc., privately held Yaso Therapeutics, Inc. earlier won three three NIH-NIAID grants totaling $2.5 million and a $50,000 prize for first place in the New Venture Competition at the Harvard Business School.

About NIH grants to Yaso Therapeutics
The May 2017 Direct-to-Phase II SBIR award (1R44 HD092206) from NIH-NICHD will enable the firm to pursue an Investigational New Drug (IND) application as a vaginal contraceptive.  NIH-NIAID earlier awarded the firm three Small Business grants, R42 AI069659, R43 AI084225 and R44 AI084225. 

Yaso CEO Invited to Present PPCM Development and Market Analysis to the Initiative for Multi-Purpose Technology (IMPT) meeting in Washington, DC. 

September 13, 2016 - Frisco, TX

Mary Weitzel, CEO, will present to a meeting of international researchers, focused on the development of Multi-Purpose Technologies (MPTs) to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted HIV and unplanned pregnancies.  Attendees include senior staff members of NIAID-DAIDS; NIAID-DMID; NIMH; and NICHD; lead developers of MPTs; USAID; and senior field researchers who have led major clinical trials in the effort to find drug and device products to protect women from HIV.  Mary will present the current status of Yaso pipeline products and market positioning in the United States.

NIH Awards Yaso Biotechnology Inc. $2 million SBIR Grant.

August 1, 2013 - Scottsdale, AZ

Yaso Biotechnology Inc. today announced winning a Phase II SBIR grant from NIH-NIAID.  The grant is for $ 2 million over two years and will support efforts to complete all preclinical studies required to submit an IND.  The flagship product under development is a vaginal contraceptive microbistat to prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes simplex and gonorrhea as well as prevent unplanned pregnancies.  This is the third NIH grant award to Yaso Biotechnology Inc.

Harvard Business School Awards Yaso Biotechnology New Venture Prize

May 6, 2013 - Scottsdale, AZ

New Product Aimed To Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections and Unplanned Pregnancies.

Yaso Biotechnology Inc. today announced winning a $50,000 prize from Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA, in Harvard’s 2013 New Venture Competition held April 29, 2013. The prize follows an intense competition among start-up firms, with Yaso winning the Social Enterprise Track. These firms leverage innovative business practices and managerial disciplines to drive sustained, high-impact social change.

Yaso Biotechnology Inc. is developing a proprietary drug platform to improve global health. Yaso’s products will offer significant innovations in the fields of epidemic disease prevention and reproductive health, while being relatively inexpensive to produce, and easy to distribute. Following clinical trials and approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Yaso’s product will be commercialized as an over-the-counter vaginal gel used by women prior to intercourse. Yaso also plans an educational and social networking site to support healthy lifestyles for young women.

Mary Weitzel, CEO and HBS graduate stated, “We continue to make significant progress toward our goals, and are honored to win this prestigious prize from Harvard Business School, to develop our product for women. We appreciate the confidence HBS shares with our research team in the scientific, commercial and humanitarian potential of our product. We are poised to dramatically reduce healthcare costs, both private and governmental, globally.”

There is currently no over-the-counter, woman-directed product that provides protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV/AIDS, and unplanned pregnancies. Globally, there were over three hundred million new STI cases (not including HIV/AIDS). In the US, ethnic minorities have particularly high incidence rates of STIs and unplanned pregnancies.