26.11.2012 - Immunologists from Germany prove that messenger RNA vaccines work in mice, ferrets and pigs. Translation to humans would speed up flu control.
The idea sounds compelling: Instead of injecting peptide parts or complete proteins to trigger immune reactions, future vaccines could consist of messenger RNA molecules. Scientists from the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut and the biotech enterprise CureVac GmbH (both from Tübingen, Germany) as well as from a branch of Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut on an island in the Baltic Sea near Greifswald, showed that immunisation with mRNA works thus far in mice, ferrets and pigs. The corresponding study was published online on 25 November by Nature Biotechnology. Lead author Lothar Stitz from Greifwald and colleagues report that the resulting immune responses were similar or even stronger than those provoked by commercially available vaccines.
Producing conventional vaccines is a time-consuming process. If Stitz’ approach also works in humans, flu vaccines could be designed and made within weeks instead of months. Hence, pandemics could be brought under control much more easily. What is more, mRNA vaccines in general are characterised by superior stabilities at high temperatures and by improved efficacy in young and old mice. These features could make a difference as it is mostly the elderly and children who suffer most from flu casualties.
The results strengthen German Curevac GmbH, the manufacturer of mRNA-coded antigens. Only in September, the biotech set a German record by closing the biggest financing round of a German biotech ever (€80m).
20.07.2016 Belgian molecular diagnostics company Biocartis Group NV has raised €55m and will use the funds mainly to expand manufacturing capacities for its PCR-based molecular diagnostics system Idylla.
19.07.2016 It is Europe’s first gene therapy company to float on Euronext: Gensight raised €40m in its IPO. And it is not the only French company that has taken the leap in an uncertain market climate – Alzheimer’s expert Pharnext also went public.
18.07.2016 When NASA blasted off to the International Space Station on Monday morning, it had UK tech on board. A miniature DNA sequencer from Oxford Nanopore will be used to keep an eye on the ISS atmosphere – and may even analyse alien DNA one day.
13.07.2016 Cell Medica has acquired Swiss antibody specialist Delenex Therapeutics. The deal nets the British cellular therapeutics developer Delenex’ proprietory antibody fragment platform Pentrabody.
12.07.2016 Vienna-based vaccine specialist Themis Bioscience GmbH has secured broad access to a promising virus vaccine vector tech by extending its license agreement with French Institut Pasteur. Its goal: to develop a Zika vaccine.
07.07.2016 Californian biopharma Medivation has agreed to confidential negotiations with its suitors, in particular the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, which aggressively has buffeted the cancer therapy specialist for months.
06.07.2016 The European Commission started an investigation into Illumina’s and Sequenom’s 2014 patent agreement, UK-competitor Premaitha Health said. The two US companies had agreed to pool their Noninvasive Prenatal Testing IP.
04.07.2016 Cinfa Biotech is shuffling for position on the lucrative biosimilar market. The Spanish-German company has published positive results in a study for a pegfilgrastim copycat with 172 healthy volunteers in Germany.
30.06.2016 UK’s Heptares Therapeutics and Paul Scherrer Institute spinoff leadXpro will collaborate to find new approaches for the determination of high-res X-ray structures of G protein-coupled receptors to find new drugs.
Merck’s advanced water purification system with new high-throughput line delivers up to 9,000 liters of pure water daily with real-time monitoring and ensures constant water quality with low and predictable running costs. more