Infectious Diseases Vaccines

In recent years vaccines, as preventative and curative agents against infectious diseases, have again become an area of major interest for public health organizations and the pharmaceutical industry. Among the various known technical approaches towards vaccination against infectious diseases, ranging from attenuated living organisms and physically or chemically inactivated pathogens and pathogen-fragments to peptide- and nucleic-acid based vaccines, Bacterial Ghosts represent a truly unique approach towards vaccination. Unlike traditionally inactivated bacteria they outwardly resemble living organisms with their outer membrane structures largely intact. Unlike attenuated bacteria they are non-living. Unlike both they are devoid of any potentially harmful cell content. In contrast to subunit vaccines they do not need adjuvant and are highly stable. Bacterial Ghost vaccines are safe, relatively easy and cheap to produce, can be stored at room temperature and are ideally suited for needle-free mucosal application. As such they mimic a natural bacterial infection and thus elicit immune responses superior to the ones of existing vaccine approaches. Since Bacterial Ghosts can be created from pathogenic or non-pathogenic gram-negative bacteria expressing one or more recombinant antigens in various cell membrane compartments the technology platform can also be applied to vaccine development against gram-positive bacteria, viruses and eukaryotic pathogens. Bacterial Ghosts then effectively act as an adjuvant presenting relevant antigens in a stabilizing, natural environment.



Human Vaccines

The global market for human vaccines against infectious diseases is estimated to grow to approximately USD 38bn by 2015. It is open to innovative approaches such as Bacterial Ghosts. Over the last couple of years BIRD-C has tested its Bacterial Ghost platform on various gram-negative bacteria that are either themselves human pathogens, and / or can be used as carriers of antigens derived from other infectious agents. Among others, a vaccine candidate against Shigella flexneri, a pathogen causing severe diarrhoea in humans, has been developed into the late pre-clinic. In addition various vaccine candidates against Chlamydia trachomatis are currently being developed under the umbrella of the Laura Bassi Centre OCUVAC, a joint development project with the Medical University Vienna and various further institutions, which is partly funded by the Austrian government. Chlamydia trachomatis is a major health concern in developing nations where it represents a prime source for blindness, and a multibillion dollar market in the developed world as one of the leading sexually transmitted diseases.



Veterinary Vaccines

Worldwide veterinary vaccines sales are predicted to reach USD 5.4bn by 2015. Contrary to the human vaccine market innovations in the veterinary field are relatively rare due to the high price sensitivity of the market. At the same time innovative approaches such as Bacterial Ghost vaccines are definitely needed to advance the area of veterinary vaccines to the next level. The existing sensitivity towards vaccine development-, production- and delivering costs is a pivotal advantage for Bacterial Ghosts, which are low cost products that can be stored at room temperature, are easy to administer, and are easily adaptable to cover various pathogens. Since its inception BIRD-C has advanced various veterinary vaccine candidates into studies in target animals including poultry, pigs and cattle. In December 2011 BIRD-C entered into an extensive development- and licensing agreement with a major US multinational in the area of veterinary health to develop a broad portfolio of vaccines against selected major animal diseases to market launch.





To elicit their full immunological potential subunit vaccines commonly need to be combined with adjuvants such as alum. However, the currently used adjuvants have various limitations and the adjuvant options available to any recombinant vaccine manufacturer are very limited. BIRD-C fully utilizes the intrinsic adjuvant effect of Bacterial Ghosts in its own vaccine candidates. In addition the company is also open to cooperation with parties interested in testing Bacterial Ghosts as adjuvant in combination with their unique recombinant antigens. Bacterial Ghosts provide a natural environment for antigens thus eliciting a protective effect for the antigen in addition to their adjuvant properties. They allow for prolonged storage at room temperature and are ideal particles for needle free delivery. Bacterial Ghosts can either be mixed with the antigen of interest, or the antigen can be expressed in a gram-negative bacterium to be turned into a Bacterial Ghosts, thereby creating a bacteria shell with integrated antigen. If you are interested in learning more about Bacterial Ghosts as adjuvant for your antigens please get in touch.





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