Bayer tests personalised cancer vaccine synthesised in tobacco
Duesseldorf – Bayer has begun clinical testing a personalised tumour vaccine against a potentially deadly blood cancer (follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma) according to a report in the print issue of the German biotech magazine transkript. The antibody vaccine, which is produced in tobacco plants, aims to activate the patient’s immune system against a surface antibody on the tumour that is unique for every single patient – the so-called idiotype. Bayer will evaluate safety, tolerability and immune responses to the idiotype vaccine on 20 patients who have recovered from chemotherapy. The vaccine aims to fight residual chemotherapy-resistant cancer cells in the patients that often lead to recurrence of this slow growing cancer.This is the first time that Bayer has clinically evaluated an antibody vaccine produced in tobacco. According to Bayer Innovation, production of the vaccine in tobacco plants is significantly cheaper than with current processes which require highly sterile production plants.
The process was developed by Bayer Schering’s new businesses developer Bayer Innovation GmbH (Duesseldorf), which acquired the biotech firm Icon Genetics (Halle) in 2006. Icon’s Magnifection® technology (more...)allows a very fast and scaleable production of the cancer vaccine and could serve Bayer in the future as platform for vaccine production.