Another vaccine hopeful is joining the fight against Ebola. Inovio Pharmaceuticals said this week that it will move its Ebola vaccine candidate into clinical trials in the first half of 2015.
'Reverse' DNA vaccine bursts into the spotlight with promising Type 1 diabetes data
A stealth biotech spun out of Stanford University burst into public view today, drawing headlines around the world for its new therapeutic approach to Type 1 diabetes that aims to completely change the standard of care in the field.
Diabetes treatments either fail to stop the decline of insulin-releasing cells, or put patients at risk by shutting off other bits of the immune system too. New data suggest that DNA vaccines could help preserve the remaining pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells without causing serious side effects.
Most vaccines consist of an inactivated virus to train the immune system to attack an invader. But such a system poses risks patients, especially when it comes to HIV. Like many vaccine researchers, those at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are exploring alternative DNA vaccines.
PATH, Inovio zero in on DNA malaria vaccine
Expanding an already solid partnership, PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and Inovio Pharmaceuticals will work together to advance malaria vaccine development and new vaccination delivery technologies.
After losing more than 1 million service days during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to severe diarrhea in troops, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to combat the problem by making drugs based on nucleic acids such as DNA rather than the weakened or dead proteins typically used in vaccines.
Vaccibody's lead therapeutic DNA vaccine, developed for the treatment of precancerous changes in the cervix caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, is expected to move into the clinic in late 2013 once funding is in place, the company CEO Ole Henrik Brekke told FierceVaccines at BIO 2012.
"The development of HIV vaccines has been slow, because the research community had to determine what genetic material would trigger both an antibody and a T cell response. Many times you need to find out what doesn't work first, but the research is now speeding up," says Robert McNally, Ph.D., president and CEO of GeoVax, in an interview with FierceVaccines.
MiniVax, a vaccine developer based in New Orleans, has developed a DNA vaccine based on a fragment of a Pneumocystis protein, kexin, that has potential to prevent pneumonia. The fragment, code-named mini-Kexin by the company, is the same across a number of different species of the fungus.
DNA vaccine swats TB and HIV
TB is the leading cause of death among people with HIV infection, and being able to give people a shot that treats HIV and protects against TB would be a major breakthrough for this vulnerable group of people.