Additional ImmBioVax™ Targets
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), is a Gram-negative bacterium adapted to survive in the stomach of humans. It is estimated that approaching 50% of the world’s population may be infected. No vaccine is available and there is a need for both preventative and therapeutic vaccines, with the prophylactic vaccine aimed primarily at young children from high prevalence areas. ImmBio’s ImmBioVax™ programme is designed to address both prophylactic and therapeutic requirements.
Most H. pylori infections are not associated with clinical disease. However, a proportion of those infected will develop a range of problems, including gastritis, peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Although less than 1% of those infected develop gastric cancer, it is the fourth most prevalent malignancy in the world, establishing H. pylori as a leading public health problem. For symptomatic infections, eradication is usually achieved by a combination of two antibiotics and a proton-pump inhibitor. However, resistance to the commonly used antibiotics is an increasing problem and is the main reason for treatment failure.
C. difficile are found in the gut flora of around 5% of the population. Particularly after antibiotic therapy, the flora balance favours growth of C. difficile, and infection often follows antibiotic use in patients with other conditions in a hospital setting. Breadth of protection is necessary for effective vaccination and ImmBio is using its ImmBioVax™ approach to generate a broadly effective vaccine.
Over 100 strains have been identified. Of particular note is the emergence of a new strain with high toxin production and resistance to many antibiotics, along with a significant growth in incidence. Antibiotics can be effective, but their slow speed of onset of action and the growth of resistance present a challenge. Prophylactic protection offers a potentially important strategy for defined groups:
- The hospitalised (ahead of admission if scheduled)
- Health workers
- At-risk groups with increased likelihood of hospital admission
The use of checkpoint block inhibitors in immunotherapy is proving to be a paradigm shift in the treatment of cancer. However, these treatment are only effective in a minority of patients and there is much interest in combining these with cancer vaccines to increase the breadth of their use. Studies in models of spontanteously generated cancers have indicated that ImmBio’s ImmBioVax™ technology platform can be used to produce cancer vaccines from autologous tumours that can be effectively used in such combinations. ImmBio's IP portfolio includes methods for the production of cancer vaccines and is available for licensing for Oncology applications.