Cobra Biomanufacturing plc (AIM: CBF), the international manufacturer of biopharmaceuticals, today announces the results of a five year research collaboration with the UK Ministry of Defence agency dstl, (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), Porton Down, UK, on the development of an improved approach to oral vaccination that avoids the risks of using antibiotics or antibiotic-resistance genes.
Comparison of the ORT-VAC system with conventional bacteria vaccine strains show that, post administration, the ORT VAC product is stable and the conventional strains highly unstable. In other experiments reported in the same paper, using a rigorous plague challenge model in rodents, proof-of-principle results published today show that a single oral dose vaccine achieved a high level of immunity against plague.
The results of this research collaboration are published today in the prestigious peer reviewed journal Infection and Immunity (Volume 73, Issue: 4 Page 2005), published by the American Society of Microbiology [http://iai.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract /73/4/2005]
Commenting on the results, Dr David Thatcher, Cobra’s CEO, said: “Cobra’s scientists are renowned for their innovative approaches. Results from this publication could represent a breakthrough in vaccine strain development as they clearly demonstrate that ORT-VAC technology will allow the production and oral delivery of stable strains carrying a high number of copies of the vaccine gene per cell and therefore ORT-VAC strains are likely to have increased potency compared with conventional strains.”
Continuing Dr Thatcher says: “The results also show that approaches to the development of high potency oral vaccine strains, using conventional molecular biology, lead to strains which rapidly lose their component antigen genes after administration and therefore are potentially less effective compared with the fully stabilised ORT-VAC vaccines. ORT-VAC approach avoids use of live bacteria which are antibiotic resistant and carry a serious potential of generating antibiotic resistant infection.”
The ORT-VAC technology allows easy oral administration and cost effective manufacture of vaccines. It is readily applicable to convert any suitable bacteria strain to an antibiotic–free ORT strain for DNA and recombinant protein vaccine delivery in humans. Recombinant protein vaccines are becoming increasingly important as a prophylaxis and as a therapy. ORT-VAC vaccines will have applications in cancer, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis as well as newly emerging diseases, such as avian flu. It will also have utility against diseases such as anthrax posed by the threat of bioterrorism.
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