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Data on production and immunogenicity of malaria transmission-blocking vaccine candidates published by ARTES and Burnet Institute
Langenfeld, Germany / Melbourne, Australia: ARTES Biotechnology and Burnet Institute recently published data on the efficient production of malaria vaccine candidates using virus-like particles (VLP) presenting malaria transmission-stage antigens, which were capable of inducing transmission-blocking antibodies. The development project funded a.o. by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative started in 2014 aimed at strategies to produce vaccines that block the transmission of malaria from mosquitoes to humans, which has been identified as an important global goal.
Purified transmission-stage vaccine antigens (Pfs25 and Pfs230) were produced as chimeric VLPs with ARTES’ METAVAX® platform. The study results demonstrated that the VLPs effectively induced functional transmission-reducing antibodies, assessed with the widely used standard membrane feeding assays for evaluation of malaria vaccines.
Malaria is one of the major threats to human health globally, and the elimination of malaria depends on the development of an effective vaccine. Currently, the most advanced malaria vaccine has been found to be moderately efficacious. Thus, it is crucial to develop new strategies for improved vaccine formulations that can generate potent immunity to malaria. Chimeric VLPs displaying target antigens have emerged as a promising strategy to develop and accelerate new malaria vaccine candidates.
ARTES Biotechnology, the German biopharmaceutical contract research and development company specializes in microbial cell line and process development for recombinant proteins and vaccines together with colleagues at Burnet Institute, Australia, have recently published data on the use of chimeric VLPs (METAVAX® technology platform).Two original articles are available in the international open-access journal, PLOS ONE.
Under the title “Display of malaria transmission-blocking antigens on chimeric duck hepatitis B virus-derived virus-like particles produced in Hansenula polymorpha” the development of the Hansenula yeast cell lines and processes for the expression of transmission-blocking malaria vaccine candidates, Pfs25 and Pfs230, as VLPs are described. The accompanying article entitled “Malaria vaccine candidates displayed on novel virus-like particles are described. The accompanying article entitled “Malaria vaccine candidates displayed on novel virus-like particles are immunogenic and induce transmission-blocking activity” further present data supporting the successful induction of an immune response against the VLPs using animal studies.
The results demonstrated that the incorporation of leading transmission-stage antigens into the METAVAX® platform is a promising and novel strategy for their display on nano-scaled particles. The VLP platform is suitable for the development of multi-component vaccines to elicit functional transmission-blocking immunity. Furthermore, competitive processes for efficient production and purification are now available and can be transferred to other promising VLP vaccine targets. Future work to evaluate immune responses in larger studies of animal models using different immunization regimens and to optimize antigen presentation by VLPs will be highly beneficial to accelerate the use of this platform for malaria vaccine development.
“With the production of new malaria vaccine candidates, another milestone in the application of our yeast based VLP platform METAVAX® for the development of human and veterinary vaccines is showcased, Managing Director of ARTES, Dr Michael Piontek said.
The generation of antibodies that block malaria transmission in animal studies, is a promising step forward and highlights the potential use of this approach for malaria vaccine development, said Prof James Beeson, Head of the Malaria Immunity and Vaccines group at Burnet Institute.
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 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 http://www.artes-biotechnology.com
About Burnet Institute
Founded in 1986, Burnet Institute is an independent, not-for-profit medical research and public health organization based in Melbourne, Australia, with offices in Myanmar and Papua New Guinea. The mission of the institute is to achieve better health for vulnerable communities globally by accelerating the translation of research, discovery and evidence into sustainable health solutions. With more than 400 staff and students involved in research and public health programs, the Institute is internationally known for its expertise in infectious diseases and public health issues that are of major global significance, including malaria, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis viruses, tuberculosis and emerging infectious diseases.
More information at http://www.burnet.edu.au
About PLOS ONE
PLOS ONE is an inclusive journal community working together to advance science for the benefit of society.
More information at https://journals.plos.org/