Pfenex and PATH Partner on Vaccines
Pfenex Inc. has announced the initiation of a multi-product research program with PATH, a global health nonprofit organization, as part of an initiative to enhance production of vaccines.
"We are both pleased and honored to partner with a globally respected organization as PATH in their mission to develop and deliver health solutions for unmet medical needs," stated Bertrand C. Liang, chief executive officer of Pfenex. "This project represents yet another example of how Pfenex's experience in the area of complex protein development and manufacture can provide innovative solutions for global health, with a portfolio of antigens and adjuvants that have been difficult or impossible to express in other host systems or organisms facilitating vaccine development previously not possible."
As part of a recent grant to PATH from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a model for enhancing the production of recombinant protein vaccines against two diseases that pose a high burden in low-resource countries, PATH is working with Pfenex on an initial pilot project for two important vaccine components.
The first is a promising adjuvant, the double-mutant Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin (dmLT), used by PATH's enteric vaccine initiative with several vaccine candidates under development.
The second is a leading malaria transmission-blocking vaccine candidate, Pfs25, supported by PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative. By partnering with Pfenex and using the high-expression system developed by Pfenex, PATH aims to accelerate the two vaccine programs in this pilot project.
A successful outcome could result in the advancement of the development of the dmLT and Pfs25, making them available in higher quantities and at lower costs. In addition, this project may lead to the creation of a platform to expedite the production of other recombinant protein vaccine antigens both for PATH and potentially other Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded vaccine product development partnerships.