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ARTES joins global CV-19 combat with VLP vaccine candidates

news-releasesARTES Biotechnology GmbH
April 27th 2020

Langenfeld, Germany: – ARTES Biotechnology, the German-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in process development for recombinant vaccines, today announced the start of the development of VLP-based SARS-COV-2 vaccine candidates in response to the related Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative will provide proven and scalable development and production platforms for specific CV-19 vaccine candidates.

Harnessing VLP technologies

The ARTES development approach focuses on presenting spike protein domains of SARS-CoV-2 – with or without an antigen derived from the virus´ nucleocapsid protein – on the surface of METAVAX® envelope- or SplitCore capsid-VLPs.

ARTES Biotechnology has specific expertise in vaccine process development from microbial expression systems with several products out licensed. The company offers two versatile and proven virus-like particle (VLP) platform technologies for the development of vaccine candidates. The resulting virus like particles from bacterial and yeast cell lines are applicable as highly immunogenic subunit vaccines in human and animal health.

METAVAX® and SplitCore platforms

METAVAX® is the company´s platform for the development of vaccines built on enveloped virus like particle (eVLP) nanostructures based on the duck Hepatitis B small surface antigen.

Meanwhile, the ARTES SplitCore platform uses a technology where capsid virus like particles (cVLPs) are applied as antigen presentation vehicles without involvement of host lipid membrane structures.

Virus-like particles are highly organized protein structures that mimic the conformation of authentic native viruses without being infectious. They consist of one or more structural proteins that have the ability to self-assemble to mimic the structure of real viruses and to present foreign epitopes or complete antigens on their surfaces. Because they lack a viral genome, recombinant VLPs are superior to native viruses while at the same time maintaining equivalent potential to trigger a strong immune response.

Proven approaches

SARS-COV-2 antigens known to induce neutralizing antibodies will be presented by METAVAX® and SplitCore VLPs, using similar approaches that have proven successful in previous projects.

In September 2019, ARTES and Australian Burnett Institute published data on the efficient production of malaria vaccine candidates using virus-like particles (eVLP) produced with the METAVAX® platform to present malaria transmission-stage antigens that were capable of inducing transmission-blocking antibodies. These data were produced in a PATH funded project.

A research team from University of Freiburg used SplitCore cVLPs to develop Borrelia antigens to induce neutralizing antibodies against Lyme Disease.

ARTES Managing Director Dr. Michael Piontek commented: “The battle against the COVID-19 pandemic will require a lot of different innovative approaches. We are convinced that our technology platform can provide on short term an important contribution in this global combat. The compelling advantage of our technology is the cost-effective production of efficacious and safe vaccines in a platform already applied in mass vaccination programs.”

About ARTES Biotechnology

ARTES Biotechnology is a pharmaceutical contract research & development organization that provides cell line and process development for and manufacturing of bio-pharmaceutical products. The company is a well-established partner for many of the biggest names in the industry, with more than 20 years of business experience, a track record of products developed for and marketed by clients, as well as safe, reliable and highly competitive microbial production platforms.

ARTES specializes in recombinant cell line, process and vaccine development from microbial expression systems, marketing the unique METAVAX® (dHepB-eVLP) and SplitCore (HepBcVLP) technology in combination with yeast and E. coli expression.

ARTES operates worldwide from its 850m2 S1 facilities in Langenfeld, from where it offers cell line engineering based on yeast (Hansenula polymorpha, syn. Pichia angusta; Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and bacterial (E. coli) expression platforms, lab scale up- and downstream process development, supply of non-GMP bulk material (API) for activity and toxicity tests and technology transfer to cGMP facilities and scale-up support.

More information at www.artes-biotechnology.com

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