Immunovaccine enters into biodefense vaccine development collaboration

Immunovaccine Inc., a vaccine developer for infectious diseases and cancer therapy, announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a research collaboration for biodefense vaccine development.

The next generation biodefense vaccines will be evaluated in conjunction with a U.S. National Institutes of Health funded study during the first quarter of 2012. The study will combine Immunovaccine's DepoVax adjuvanting technology platform with four candidates for biodefense vaccine candidates created as part of the collaboration.

The results from initial studies were positive enough to warrant further development of the vaccine candidates and will now be tested in a non-human primate challenge model by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"This collaboration is consistent with Immunovaccine's strategy for leveraging DepoVax to enhance the immunogenicity of even the best vaccine antigen candidates, in as little as a single dose," John Trizzino, the CEO of Immunovaccine, said.

The study will evaluate the potential for vaccine candidates to protect against anthrax and multi-filoviruses such as Marburg. These bioterrorism agents are in the Category A classification by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because they have the highest potential for mass casualties due to high fatality rates and easy transmissibility.

In preliminary research with an anthrax antigen, the DepoVax-based vaccine lifted antibody levels higher than three doses of an alum-adjuvanted control vaccine. The levels of antibodies were persistent within four weeks following a single dose of DepoVax's anthrax antigen.

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