Updated on 23 July 2012
Vaccines against atherosclerosis are also in development. AVANT Immunotherapeutics developed a vaccine that works by eliciting neutralizing antibodies to cholesteryl ester transfer (CETP) raising high density lipoprotein. AFFiRiS also has an atherosclerosis vaccine in pre-clinical development that induces antibodies against CETP.
Hypertension is another common chronic disease against which vaccines are being developed. Cytos has CYT006-AngQb, which induces an antibody response against angiotensin II, an important regulator of blood pressure. While clinical trials were successful, the effect was modest leaving this program in limbo.
Another area of research in vaccines is against drug addiction. Nabi Biopharmaceuticals has developed NicVAX that is currently in phase III clinical trials for nicotine addiction. Cytos' Nic-002 vaccine did not achieve its primary end point of smoking cessation. Celtic Pharma is developing TA-Nic, which is in phase I. Hence despite some early setbacks, research continues into anti-smoking vaccines.
The above descriptions are not meant to be exhaustive listing of unconventional vaccines in development, but rather are selected snapshots to demonstrate the extreme diversity of vaccines currently under development for non-infectious indications. Whilst activity remains strong, many late-stage clinical trial failures highlight that there is much that still needs to be known at the basic science level about induction of immune responses against unconventional antigens.
We are excited by the fact that our own proprietary vaccine enhancement platform known as Advax, shows great promise across a broad range of unconventional as well as conventional antigens. Hence we look to a future when vaccines will be used to treat a broad range of non-infectious as well as infectious diseases. The lessons learned during the development of unconventional vaccines may also help in the identification of new strategies to develop successful vaccines against the likes of HIV and chronic hepatitis B.