08 May 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Aeras, a nonprofit biotech firm that is advancing TB vaccines, the University of Oxford and Okairos, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in T-cell vaccines, have received $2.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development of vaccines against tuberculosis, HIV and malaria.
The grant allows the three groups to work together to develop scalable methods to enable large-scale production of multiple novel chimpanzee adenovirus vector constructs.
Novel constructs to be pursued include Okairos' proprietary technology platform that uses potent chimpanzee adenovirus vectors to stimulate robust T-cell and antibody responses against selected antigens.
Dr Adrian Hill, director, Jenner Institute, Oxford University, UK, said that, "Chimpanzee adenovirus-based vaccines have recently been shown to safely induce exceptionally potent cellular immunity in adults, children and infants, and are in clinical trials involving over 1,000 vaccinees in seven countries."
Dr Hill added, "The diseases targeted, including malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, are the greatest infectious killers of our time so this investment in manufacturing technology is very timely."