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GEN News Highlights : Sep 19, 2012

Firms Partner on Dual-Vaccine Malaria Program

Protein Potential and Aduro BioTech received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop a dual-vaccine platform against malaria. The two vaccines, delivered sequentially, will both be designed to stimulate immune responses targeting the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (CSP), with a view to inducing humoral and cellular immune responses providing long-term protection.

Protein Potential will lead the partnership and produce CSP for combination with one or more adjuvants. Aduro will use its live-attenuated Listeria monocytogenes platform to engineer a strain that expresses recombinant CSP.

Protein Potential specializes in the production of recombinant proteins and DNA plasmids for research and development, and also offers process development, documentation, and technological know-how to move therapeutic proteins, whole-organism and subunit vaccines, and diagnostic proteins to large-scale cGMP manufacture. The firm is in addition leveraging its expertise to develop vaccines for SARS, dengue fever, tularemia, P. falciparum malaria and P. vivax malaria.

Adura is exploiting its Listeria monocytogenes platform to develop prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. The firm’s lead Listeria-based therapeutic, CRS-207, expresses the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin, and has been evaluated in a Phase I study in patients with mesothelin-expressing mesothelioma, non-small-cell lung cancer, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. A Phase II trial is under way in patients to evaluate CRS-207 in late-stage pancreatic cancer patients as part of a two-stage strategy involving sequential administration of a GVAX human cancer cell line-derived vaccine, followed by the CRS-207 candidate.