"VaxGen's long-standing interest in and understanding of Meningitis B, coupled with their experience in product development and manufacturing, made them the ideal partner for us," said Gary Gustafson, Ph.D., EndoBiologics' President and CEO. "EndoBiologics believes it has developed a novel and promising technology, and we are pleased to be working with VaxGen to determine if we can bring it to the next stage of development."
EndoBiologics' production method uses the organism Dictyostelium discoideum as a biological mechanism for producing a potential vaccine antigen from lipooligosaccharide (LOS). LOS is a carbohydrate structure on the surface of the Meningitis B bacteria. Dictyostelium uses the Meningitis B bacterium as a food source and produces enzymes that naturally detoxify the bacterial LOS molecule. The detoxified LOS is then conjugated, or joined, to a carrier protein using EndoBiologics' proprietary chemistry to create the vaccine candidate.
During natural infection with Meningitis B or after vaccination with other vaccine compositions containing LOS, antibodies to LOS are readily detected. Additionally, at least one monoclonal antibody to a conserved part of LOS has been shown to protect in a pre-clinical model. Therefore, VaxGen and EndoBiologics believe that a vaccine that can elicit a robust response to conserved portions of LOS represents an attractive approach to developing a product to prevent Neisseria meningitidis infection and disease. (See Vermont et al. Recent developments in vaccines to prevent meningococcal serogroup B infections. Current Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics 2003 5(1): 33-38.)
A barrier to using LOS as a vaccine antigen has been the difficulty in detoxifying this carbohydrate while preserving portions of the antigen essential to producing a useful vaccine. VaxGen and EndoBiologics believe that E
Contact: Paul Laland