Relief for Hospital Patients Who Contract Infections

Posted: August 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Relief for Hospital Patients Who Contract Infections
English: 221 Longwood Avenue, formerly the Bos...

English: 221 Longwood Avenue, formerly the Boston Lying-In Hospital building, part of Brigham and Women’s Hospital but separate from the main building at 15-75 Francis Street; view from Longwood Avenue. © 2005 Joseph Barillari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hospital patients, particularly those on respirators, can contract infections from bacteria known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. However, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston say they discovered a new vaccine candidate that aims to fight such infections.

Researchers observed protection from lethal pneumonia in mice after either active or passive immunization, according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

No known vaccine exists to stomp out the bacteria, which is also responsible for some lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis.

The vaccine is based on a new system of immunity to Pseudomonas assisted by T helper 17 (Th17) cells, according to a release. The Th17 cells secrete the cytokine IL-17 and boost antibacterial mucosal defenses.

“People have been trying to make vaccines for Pseudomonas for more than 40 years,” Dr. Gregory Priebe, assistant professor of anesthesia in the Division of Infectious Disease at Brigham and Women’s, told FierceVaccines. “Most bacterial vaccines use kind of the other armor of the immune system, meaning antibodies. You really need both; you need antibody and these T helper 17 cells.”

Researchers have been working on vaccines for both the acute infections and for Pseudomonas and cystic fibrosis, Priebe said.

$34 Million in Funding for a Cancer Vaccine

Posted: August 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on $34 Million in Funding for a Cancer Vaccine
The Human Body -- Cancer

The Human Body — Cancer (Photo credit: n0cturbulous)

PsiOxus Therapeutics amassed $34 million for its Series B. The round will allow the London-based company to move forward with clinical development of a systemically available oncolytic vaccine for the treatment of colorectal and other forms of cancer, ColoAd1, through a series of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, according to a release.

The lead vax is designed to replicate in and kill only cancer cells. The infected cells then reproduce, fanning out as cancer-fighting agents. The so-called “self-amplifying” cancer therapy both kills tumors and acts as a cancer vaccine.

Money for the trials comes from existing investors, Imperial Innovations Group and Invesco Perpetual. And PsiOxus has brought on new investments from GlaxoSmithKline’s venture unit SR One and Lundbeckfond Ventures.

“This financing comes at a pivotal time for our company as we move our cancer portfolio from early- to mid-stage clinical development,” said Dr. John Beadle, CEO of PsiOxus, as quoted in a release. “The new funding will enable key clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and proof of efficacy of these products in the clinic and to highlight the effectiveness of our research and development program.”

The first clinical trial of ColoAd1 will take place later this year in patients with metastatic solid tumors.

New Obesity Vaccine? Possible

Posted: August 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on New Obesity Vaccine? Possible
What scientists call "Overweight" ch...

What scientists call “Overweight” changes with our knowledge of human health (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Researchers at Braasch Biotech seeking an obesity vaccine for humans achieved promising results in a study using mice. They found that chubby mice quickly shed 10% of their body weight when injected with modified somatostatin, a peptide hormone.

The scientists fattened up the mice over the course of 8 weeks and right through the 6-week study. The mice received a dose of the vaccines–two somatostatin vaccinations, JH17 and JH18–at the beginning of the study and on day 22. The vaccines lead to production of antibodies to somatostatin–a hormone peptide that blocks activity of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)–in order to boost energy use and burn fat. Four days after the first vaccine injections, the overweight mice dropped 10% of their body weight without negative effects on growth hormone, IGF-1 or insulin levels, according to a release.

“This study demonstrates the possibility of treating obesity with vaccination,” said Keith Haffer, a scientist at Braasch Biotech, in a statement. “Although further studies are necessary to discover the long-term implications of these vaccines, treatment of human obesity with vaccination would provide physicians with a drug- and surgical-free option against the weight epidemic.”

A juggernaut of hype will surely follow the release of a vaccine to combat obesity, a common cause for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, but animal testing only preludes the years of human clinical trials ahead.

$31 Million in Funding to Research HIV/AIDS Vaccine

Posted: August 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on $31 Million in Funding to Research HIV/AIDS Vaccine
HIV Particle

HIV Particle (Photo credit: AJC1)

North Carolina’s Duke University and California’s Scripps Research Institute received a combined $31 million in first-year funding to direct the new Centers for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery. The program fuels the long-time hunt for vaccines against intractable HIV.

Over 6 years, the initiative is expected to receive $186 million, which will go toward accelerating HIV vaccine development. Researchers will study immune responses that prevent or contain HIV infection and generate model vaccine components that can induce such responses, according to a National Institutes of Health release.

Duke received $19.9 million and Scripps received $11.1 million in funding for fiscal 2012. The groups have a tricky task ahead, as any worthy vaccine would have to provide a broad defense against multiple strains of HIV. Vaccines, of course, offer the promise of preventing infection in people at risk of HIV, which is now treated with anti-viral drugs.

“In recent years, considerable progress has been made in identifying antibodies that can prevent a broad range of HIV strains from infecting human cells,” Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said in a statement. “CHAVI-ID will attempt to understand how these antibodies and other immune responses work to protect against HIV infection, providing scientists with a rational foundation for designing what we hope will be an effective HIV vaccine.”

The United States sees an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections each year, and an estimated 34 million people live with HIV worldwide, according to the NIAID.

Gardasil Vaccine – Usually Only Given to Girls – Will be Given to all Australian Boys

Posted: August 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Gardasil Vaccine – Usually Only Given to Girls – Will be Given to all Australian Boys

For the first time, boys in Australia will receive the Gardasil vaccine, a series of shots typically given to high school-aged girls to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which can lead to cervical cancer.

English: Pathology: EM: Papilloma Virus (HPV) ...

English: Pathology: EM: Papilloma Virus (HPV) Electron micrograph of a negatively stained human papilloma virus (HBV) which occurs in human warts. Warts on the hands and feet have never been known to progress to cancer. However, after many years cervical warts can become cancerous. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Under Australia’s National Immunisation Program, boys ages 12 and 13 will get the three-round dose of the vaccine from U.S. drug giant Merck ($MRK). The program for boys is expected to cost $21.1 million over four years and include 870,000 vaccinations, along with an information campaign, a vaccine register and monitoring of adverse reactions, according to ABC News. This is all good news for Merck, which could greatly expand the market for Gardasil if other governments follow Australia’s lead and pay for males to get the vaccine.

“It is estimated that a quarter of new infections will be avoided by extending the vaccine to boys,” said Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek.

Australia leads the way in vaccinating boys; many health experts for years campaigned to broaden the vaccine to males in their first year of high school. HPV infections hit both males and females, and spreads during sex. In recent years researchers have linked a growing number of cancer in men to the virus. Vaccinating both men and women will impact prevalence of anal, penile, vaginal and vulvar cancers, said Steve Hambleton, the president of the Australian Medical Association, as quoted by ABC.

Stateside, about 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, according to data from National Institutes of Health. About 6 million more get infected each year. In related news, ABC reported a study that found that HPV vaccinations have reduced the risk of infection even in women who don’t get the vaccine, a phenomenon known as herd immunity.


700,000 Children Vaccinated in Philippines

Posted: August 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Travel Vaccines Updates | Comments Off on 700,000 Children Vaccinated in Philippines

About 700,000 children in the Philippines will receive a rotavirus vaccination, thanks to a national immunization program for children, according to Philstar.com. The vaccinations will go to those belonging to the poorest families listed in the National Housing Targeting System for Poverty Reduction. Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhea in infants and children, according to the World Health Organization.


Rotavirus (Photo credit: AJC1)

Related articles

New Vaccine Might Kill Nicotine Addiction

Posted: August 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on New Vaccine Might Kill Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine (Photo credit: lydia_shiningbrightly)

An experimental vaccine could smother a smoker’s addiction to nicotine. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College developed and successfully tested in mice a vaccine to treat such dependence, according to a News Medical article. The vaccine uses the liver to produce antibodies that consume nicotine as it enters the bloodstream, thus preventing the chemical from tapping into the brain or heart.

The antibody shielded the brain from systemically administered nicotine, reducing brain nicotine concentrations to 15% of those in untreated mice, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine. The amount of nicotine sequestered in the serum of vector-treated mice was more than 7 times greater than that in untreated mice, the study says.

“As far as we can see, the best way to treat chronic nicotine addiction from smoking is to have these Pac-Man-like antibodies on patrol, clearing the blood as needed before nicotine can have any biological effect,” the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald Crystal, chairman and professor of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell, told News Medical. “Our vaccine allows the body to make its own monoclonal antibodies against nicotine, and in that way, develop a workable immunity.”

Current strategies used to help smokers drop the habit show limited success due to the addictive properties of nicotine in cigarette smoke. But researchers hypothesized that a single administration of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene transfer vector expressing high levels of an anti-nicotine antibody would persistently prevent nicotine from reaching its receptors in the brain, according to the study.

Vaccine for Dengue Fever? Possible

Posted: August 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Vaccine for Dengue Fever? Possible
Dengue distribution in 2006. Red : Epidemic de...

Dengue distribution in 2006. Red : Epidemic dengue and Ae. aegypti Aqua : Just Ae. aegypti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Production of a dengue vaccine could cost mere pocket change, according to an economic analysis completed by the Dengue Vaccine Initiative, a consortium that works on access to dengue vaccines in impacted areas. Producing a tetravalent dengue vaccine may cost as little as 20 cents per dose, with an annual production level of 60 million doses packaged in 10-dose vials, according to News-Medical.

Of course, cost of production is only one component when it comes to pricing a vaccine. The final cost encompasses prior R&D, obtaining regulatory approval, marketing and distribution, start-up expenses and more. A dengue vaccine will likely cost much more initially, when demand may be low, according to the article.

The economic analysis used data on a vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and facilities of the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“The cost of a vaccine is one of the most important factors affecting its adoption and uptake,” Richard Mahoney of the DVI told News-Medical. Mahoney co-authored the report, published in Vaccine. “Our goal with this study was to determine the baseline expenses for the vaccine’s production. We believe the results should help pave the way for the rapid introduction and distribution of a dengue vaccine once licensed,” he said.

Dengue fever is a virus-caused disease spread through mosquitoes and is caused by one of four different, but related, viruses.

Vaccine Co. and Research Institute Join Forces to Fight Biodefense Threats

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Vaccine Co. and Research Institute Join Forces to Fight Biodefense Threats
Vaccine research NVGH test tubes

Vaccine research NVGH test tubes (Photo credit: Novartis AG)

Soligenix has taken up up arms with the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) of Seattle to thwart biodefense threats.

The Princeton, NJ-based vaccine developer brings to the table proprietary proteins and thermostable vaccine technology, while the research institute has synthetic adjuvants. The combination of the technologies could produce vaccines with long-term stability and rapid onset of protective immunity, which are coveted features for vaccines that would then be stockpiled for emergency use.

The first goal the companies hope to reach is assessing the combination of one of IDRI’s adjuvant compounds, which can enhance the generation of high titer neutralizing antibodies to anthrax toxin, with Soligenix’s second-generation dominant negative inhibitor subunit protein anthrax vaccine candidate, known as Velothrax, according to Soligenix’s release. The company will also take a look at the combination of an IDRI adjuvant with formulations of RiVax, Soligenix’s vaccine against ricin toxin.

Ultimately, the aim for both vaccines is a firm product that will encourage the rapid onset of protective immunity in humans, thereby reducing the number of vaccinations required.

Initial work will take place under Soligenix’s existing $9.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease grant supporting the development of advanced heat-stable vaccines against anthrax and ricin toxins.