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A vaccine for strep throat and rheumatic fever?

Researchers from Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics have announced that they will begin Phase 1 clinical trials on a new, needle-free vaccine targeted at Streptococcus A infection, the cause of strep throat and rheumatic heart disease.


Griffith University will partner with the Chinese pharmaceutical, Olymvax Biopharmaceuticals Inc. for a new vaccine that could benefit millions. The University signed a collaborative and license agreement with Olymvax to discover, develop and commercialise its Group A Streptococcus (GAS) vaccine technology exclusively for Greater China.

The research on streptococal virus was published in the journal Nanomedicine, December, 2014.

Strep A bacteria are responsible for a wide range of illnesses, from common infections like 'school sores' and strep throat, to deadly toxic shock and rheumatic heart disease. Even the rather gruesome sounding flesh eating disease has this group of bacteria to blame. More than 500,000 people worldwide each year die from diseases caused by these bacteria and indigenous Australians are especially vulnerable.

The researchers who developed the Liposome vaccine technology include Michael Good PhD, Professor and Principal Research Leader, Institute for Glycomics; Principal Research Leader & National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and Senior Principal Research Fellow in the Institute for Glycomics, along with Mehfuz Zaman PhD, Research Scientists, Institute for Glycomics.


"The availability of a safe and effective GAS vaccine could address a huge unmet public health demand, preventing a wide variety of potentially life-threatening complications and diseases in humans worldwide attributable to this organism.

"This collaborative partnership represents a significant milestone in the Institute's commercialization success working together with partners to accelerate the commercial development of innovative vaccine candidates."


Michael Good PhD, Professor and Principal Research Leader, Institute for Glycomics; Principal Research Leader at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and Senior Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia.


"This is a major vaccine licensing deal for the university, and is a wonderful outcome for the Institute for Glycomics, the researchers and Olymvax. It is a shining example of Glycomics' pioneering research, being further developed with great potential to benefit society at large," added Ian O'Connor PhD, Vice Chancellor and President of Griffith University, Australia.

China, as an emerging vaccine market and represents a major opportunity for the Institute for Glycomics. "We are pleased to partner with the Institute for Glycomics to develop the GAS vaccine technology, which represent commercially validated targets for the treatment of Strep A," added Olymvax BioPharmaceuticals Inc. Chairman, Mr Shaowen Fan. "We believe that combining the Institute's platform with Olymvax's capabilities will help us rapidly develop these assets for the Chinese market."

Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick believes the agreement showcases the strength of Queensland for its excellence in health and medical research. The Minister feels this collaboration is an integral part of the work at the Institute for Glycomics, as a world-leading centre in translational biomedical research for the discovery of 21st century drugs and vaccines to address existing and emerging diseases of global impact.

Abstract
Utilize lipopeptide vaccine delivery system to develop a vaccine candidate against Group A Streptococcus. Materials & methods: Lipopeptides synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis-bearing carboxyl (C)-terminal and amino (N)-terminal Group A Streptococcus peptide epitopes. Nanoparticles formed were evaluated in vivo. Results: Immune responses were induced in mice without additional adjuvant. We demonstrated for the first time that incorporation of the C-terminal epitope significantly enhanced the N-terminal epitope-specific antibody response and correlated with forming smaller nanoparticles. Antigen-presenting cells had increased uptake and maturation by smaller, more immunogenic nanoparticles. Antibodies raised by vaccination recognized isolates. Conclusion: Demonstrated the lipopeptidic nanoparticles to induce an immune response which can be influenced by the combined effect of epitope choice and size.

Authors
Mehfuz Zaman, Saranya Chandrudu, Ashwini K Giddam, Jennifer Reiman, Mariusz Skwarczynski, Virginia McPhun, Peter M Moyle, Michael R Batzloff, Michael F. Good & Istvan Toth


About Griffith University
We know success often comes from doing things differently—challenging convention, adapting and innovating, recognising trends and pioneering solutions ahead of their time.

Since we started teaching 41 years ago, we’ve been deeply connected to the Asian region, environmentally aware, open to the community and industry focused. We’ve also become a comprehensive, research-intensive university, ranking in the top 3% of universities worldwide.

Our teaching and research spans five campuses in South East Queensland and all disciplines, while our network of more than 200,000 graduates extends around the world.

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Aug 15, 2016   Fetal Timeline   Maternal Timeline   News   News Archive   

Strep and Rheumatic Fever Vaccine Trials

How Strep A vaccine will work.
Image Credit: Griffith University/Medical Animations


 


 

Phospholid by Wikipedia Griffith University Strep A Vaccine Partnership