Novel vaccines for diseases ranging from the flu to HIV highlight a week's worth of biotechnology research at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' (AAPS) National Biotechnology Conference (NBC). Scientists from academia, industry, and government will gather at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Sunday, May 16 -Thursday, May 20 to share research and advances in biotherapeutics.
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have developed a delivery system utilizing invasin as a targeting molecule to M cells as well as an agent that can enhance the patient's immune response. This formulation may be useful in developing countries due to its stable powder form, which reduces the need for trained personnel to administer the medication. This platform oral vaccine system being developed by Tarik Khan and Jennifer Maynard, Ph.D. in collaboration with Margaret Phillips and Nicholas Peppas, Sc.D., targets immune cells in the gut, and may be applied to a number of diseases including flu, whooping cough, and HIV.
"By vaccinating through the oral route you remove the pain and fear associated with vaccines, require less experienced personnel for administration, and do a better job of mimicking the natural process of infection," said Khan.
It is hoped that a vaccination system, such as the one developed by Khan and Maynard, will increase patient compliance, the overall vaccination rate, and allow for widespread distribution in the developing world where diseases such as the flu and HIV are particularly deadly. This study is currently being evaluated with a model antigen in the mouse model.
Powder-based vaccinations are also the focus of research being conducted by researchers from the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation and Crucell pharmaceuticals. The study, "Stabilizing Formulations for Inhalable Powders of an Adenovirus 35-vectored Tuberculosis (TB) Vaccine," demonstrates that it is possible to produce a stable dry powder formulation of a TB vaccine suitable for mass vaccination in a one-step drying process. The powder formulation helps stabilize the vaccine so variations in temperature will not negatively affect its effectiveness or shelf life.
Recent clinical trials showed that the liquid Adenovirus 35-vectored TB vaccine was safe in healthy adults. A booster shot of this vaccine stimulated the immune system in a manner thought to be important for protection against TB, which included activation of CD4 and CD8 T-cells. Animal studies for the powder-based vaccine are being planned.
These studies and other novel research will be presented during a week of educational programming devoted to advancing health through biotherapeutics. Conference programming consists of a Plenary Session, symposia, roundtables, posters, hot topics, and concludes with two short courses. Additionally, the Exposition Hall will be hosting over 100 companies.
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