GENEART Receives a Grant for the Targeted Design of Vaccine Candidates
News Jul 10, 2008
GENEART AG participates in a joint project to develop a novel vaccine technology by designing a vaccine against the H5N1 avian influenza virus as a test case.
GENEART receives a quarter of the total public project funding of about EUR 0.8M. The project offers GENEART another opportunity to advance the company's expertise in the conceptual design of safe and effective vaccines. Moreover, the project also feeds into the company's advancing work on the targeted design of proteins.
The project entitled "Crossbeta Adjuvation of the H5 Subunit Vaccine against the Influenza Virus H5N1: A new Technology for aquiring an Unmet Need" is part of the EuroTransBio Initiative (ETB) and is coordinated by the Dutch company Crossbeta Biosciences.
The objective is the development of novel vaccine technologies based on certain misfoldings in proteins, called crossbeta structures. In the past, various studies have shown that these crossbeta structures boost desired immune responses. Crossbeta structures help the immune system to recognize viral proteins as antigens, and therefore are properly suited for the use as immune stimulators (immunological adjuvants).
Already today, many vaccines contain adjuvants to boost the immune response in a vaccinated person. So far, however, the available choices of adjuvants for human vaccinations are very limited. The project partners will develop a technique for the general use of crossbeta structures in protein-based vaccine strategies.
Aside from optimizing the gene sequences using the proprietary GENEART GeneOptimizer® technology for the efficient production of the vaccine, GENEART will also use an iterative process to optimize the design of the desired protein antigen. The objective is the production of an antigen that shows the optimal crossbeta structure for the desired immune response.
Professor Dr. Ralf Wagner, CEO of the GENEART AG, comments: "This project supports our activities in the area of targeted protein design. Today, we are the global leaders in the design of customized genes. In the medium term, we plan to extend our business and leadership role by offering the design of customized proteins as well. This does not only complement our current services but also adds additional value for our customers, for example in the pharmaceutical industry."