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ARTES partners with Burnet Institute to develop malaria transmission blocker

news-releasesARTES Biotechnology GmbH
August 14th 2014

Langenfeld, Germany: –North Rhine-Westphalia-based CRO, ARTES Biotechnology; announced it had reached a partnering agreement with the Burnet Institute of Melbourne, Australia, to develop a new type of malaria vaccine.

The project will use exciting novel technology developed at the Burnet Institute, by Deputy-Director, Associate Professor David Anderson and colleagues. ARTES holds the international patent rights and adapted the platform to vaccine production (known as the METAVAX® platform).

Malaria claims more than 600,000 lives annually, most severely affecting young children and pregnant women. Although the disease is one of the world’s leading causes of illness and death there is currently no vaccine approved for use.

The project will focus on strategies to produce vaccines that can block the transmission of malaria infection, which have the potential to protect whole populations, furthering the World Health Organization goal of ultimate malaria eradication.

Harnessing VLP technology

ARTES will produce purified vaccine antigens (Pfs25 and Pfs230) as virus-like particles (VLPs, a type of nano-particle) for testing in laboratory studies. The VLPs will be taken up by immune cells to prime and prepare the immune system to fight malaria.

ARTES Managing Director Dr. Michael Piontek said the strong collaboration between his organization and Burnet represented a great opportunity for developing new malaria vaccines.

“In this new project, Burnet and ARTES will combine their expertise to develop and test a novel approach for producing malaria vaccines. We are excited about the recognition and support provided by MVI for this development work,” said Dr. Piontek.

Burnet Institute Co-Head of the Centre for Biomedical Research, Professor James Beeson says the partnership face substantial challenges in developing an effective malaria vaccine.

“One of the challenges for malaria is how to best make vaccines in order to stimulate a strong and effective immune response and boost the immune system to fight malaria infections,” Prof. Beeson said.

PATH MVI Director, Ashley J. Birkett agreed that transmission-blocking vaccines could play a significant role in the eventual eradication of malaria.

“We are therefore very pleased to be involved in this project, which uses an innovative approach to expressing transmission-blocking antigens,” said Mr. Birkett.

About ARTES Biotechnology

ARTES Biotechnology is a pharmaceutical contract research organization (CRO) that provides cell line and process development for bio-pharmaceutical products and vaccine development. 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 markets unique virus-like particle (VLP) technology METAVAX® for vaccine developments, applicable for large and multimeric antigens derived from a large variety of pathogens.

ARTES based in Langenfeld, Germany, also supports product development with contributions that include:

  • Cell line engineering based on yeast and bacteria (Hansenulapolymorphaand E. coli) expression platforms
  • VLP based antigen presentation (METAVAX®)
  • Lab scale up- and downstream process development
  • Supply of non-GMP bulk material (API) for activity and toxicity tests
  • Technology transfer to cGMP facilities and scale-up support

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