ImmunoBody™ Viral Targets
There is an annual need for influenza vaccination due to ongoing changes in the viral pathogen. More substantial changes can also occur to the virus, such as the emergence of the new H1 strain in 2009, rapidly overtaking the prior dominance of H3 strains. This shift in strains has the potential to lead to a pandemic.
The incidence of influenza in developed countries is typically around 170 million people per annum and in the USA alone, influenza is responsible for around 36,000 deaths each year. Vaccination is predominantly targeted to at-risk groups, notably the elderly and those with chronic conditions. Vaccine protection rates are typically >80% in people with good immune systems. However, protection in the at-risk groups, who most need protection, is significantly lower. A number of therapeutics are available, including anti-virals and neuraminidase inhibitors, but these have limited application in the elderly and young and pathogen resistance has been growing. As a result, there are critical needs for vaccines delivering:
- Broad and robust immune responses, to better protect at-risk groups
- Rapid production response to pandemics, with certainty and at acceptable cost
ImmBio is developing an ImmunoBodies™ vaccine, FluBioVax™, to meet these medical needs. The vaccine offers potentially broad protection, with a high yield, low dosing level and low cost of production.
Infection by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global health problem. No vaccine exists and therapies are expensive and often ineffective. Consequently, ImmBio is developing an ImmunoBodies™ vaccine to address these medical needs.
As many as 170 million people worldwide may be infected with HCV, and a number go on to develop cirrhosis and liver cancer. In developed countries, those at risk of HCV infection include recipients of unscreened blood, blood products and organs; intravenous drug users; patients undergoing chronic haemodialysis; healthcare workers with exposure to contaminated needles; people who participate in high-risk sexual practices; and people undergoing medical or dental procedures with inadequately sterilised instruments.
At present there is no vaccine. ImmBio has a programme designed to address both prevention and therapeutic requirements. The company is collaborating with Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, The Royal London Hospital to develop a vaccine with the following characteristics:
- Broad protection against multiple genotypes
- Protective for at-risks groups
- Adjunct immunotherapy for use with antivirals