Chimp viruses as a vector for human vaccines


Rome – A cold virus isolated from chimpanzees might work as an vector for human vaccines. Adenoviruses are principally suitable as vectors for vaccines for their ability to induce strong immune responses. But as most humans have already had contact with cold viruses, their trained immune system will dispose of the vectors before they have a chance to deliver their vaccine load.
Alfredo Nicosia of the Rome-based company Okairos may have found a way around that conundrum, as they report in Science Translational Medicine. The idea is that chimp adenoviruses might not be recognised by the human immune system but still retain their ability to induce a strong immune response. Nicosia and his team first isolated and characterised almost 30 different chimp adenovirus serotypes from some 1,000 stool samples. The defanged viruses were then tested for their immune response in mice, and the best ones were chosen for further development. “We’re working on different vaccines for Ebola, HIV, malaria, hepatitis C,” said Nicosia. “We wish to dedicate one specific chimpanzee derived serotype to one specific vaccine target” to avoid the possibility that antibodies induced by one vaccine vector might blunt the effect of another, he explained. Paul Klenerman of the University of Oxford, who is looking for a vaccine against Hepatitis C, already tried the adenoviruses on human volunteers. The chimp adenovirus-based HCV vaccine induced a strong T cell response. A second trial in high-risk individuals—intravenous drug users—has already started.



Rome – The Italian GMO-saga continues. After Italy’s Council of State recently overturned a ban on the cultivation of genetically modified MON810 maize, the political empire is striking back. Federal Minister for Agriculture Luca...



Siena – Roche AG is pursuing Alzheimer therapies developed by Siena Biotech. The Swiss pharma company has decided to exercise an option to become the lead party for the further development and commercialisation of certain...



Arcavacata di Rende (Italy) – Researchers from the University of Calabria have established that activation of the nuclear farnesoid X receptor (FXR) can slow the growth of tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells. It is the first...

Switzerland, ItalyItaly


Siena/Basel - Roche has committed to the compounds the Italian outfit Siena Biotech is developing for the use against Alzheimer's disease. The Swiss pharma company will exercise its option to become the lead party for further...



Lainate – Cosmo’s bid for its Italian peer BioXell was successful. At the end of the acceptance period on February 26th, the Italian drug developer traded at the Zurich stock exchange, held 98.96% of all BioXell shares. The offer...



Rome – The Consiglio di Stato, Italy‘s highest court, has overturned the standing ban on the cultivation of genetically modified Mon810 maize. According to the Court, say local papers, Italian farmers do not have to wait with the...



Milan – A court in Milan has given bio­pharmaceutical company MolMed some preliminary breathing space regarding possible patent infringement with MolMed’s cell therapy for the treatment of haematological malignancies (more...)....



Rome – Sigma-Tau S.p.A has achieved promising initial results in a clinical study to evaluate the potential of Zadaxin to increase immune response to the MF59 adjuvanted H1N1 influenza monovalent vaccine Focetria from Novartis....



Lainate – Cosmo Pharmaceuticals has published its public tender offer to acquire all of fellow Italian company Bio­Xell’s outstanding shares. The specialist for optimised generics first offered to buy BioXell for CHF41.3m...



Lainate – Italian company Cosmo Pharmaceuticals SpA has anounced to launch a public tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of BioXell SpA. According to the pre-announcement, the drug manufacturer’s offer includes a total...

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