Vaccibody has received a $2.5 million grant from the Norwegian Research Council’s BIA Program to develop a therapeutic vaccine against precancerous lesions of the cervix. The new vaccine, VB10.16, will be based on the company’s Vaccibody DNA vaccine platform, which targets antigen-presenting cells.
“We believe that there is a clear role for an easy-to-administer therapeutic vaccine and that our platform is the ‘missing link’ in DNA vaccines,” said Vaccibody chief executive officer Ole Henrik Brekke. “Firstly by targeting antigen-presenting cells we get a faster and longer lasting immune response at a lower dose than traditional vaccines. Secondly, unlike Dendreon, there is no need to extract patient cells, rather we just use a simple DNA or protein subunit vaccine, which attracts, ligates and activates the antigen-presenting cells by itself. Combined with the 875,000 euros raised from the Sarsia Fund, Radium Hospital Foundation and private investors, this new grant will enable us to take VB10.16 through to clinical trials in early 2014.”
The company is also studying its vaccine platform as a therapeutic in B-cell lymphoma, melanoma and other cancer models, as well as a preventive influenza vaccine in a protein format.