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Posted: Dec 02, 2010
University of Michigan Nanotechnology Institute collaborates in $6 million vaccine program
(Nanowerk News) The University of Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences (MNIMBS) will be collaborating with a U-M spinout company to develop a safe and effective Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) intranasal vaccine.
Approximately one-third of a nearly $6 million grant awarded to the Ann Arbor-based NanoBio Corporation by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be subcontracted to MNIMBS in exchange for a two-year commitment to the project to help characterize the mechanism of action and in vivo immunogenicity of a series of nanoemulsion adjuvants and nanoemulsion-RSV vaccines.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is highly contagious and causes infection of the lungs and breathing passages. While symptoms are mild in adults, it is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children and can, in rare cases, cause death in infants, especially in developing countries. Children may develop chronic pulmonary disease and/or asthma that persists throughout adult life, making them susceptible to re-infection as adults. Currently, there are no approved vaccines for RSV.
"While originally developed as microbicidal agents at the MNIMBS, studies fortuitously demonstrated that nanoemulsions are a promising new type of adjuvant for nasopharyngeal vaccines. A needle-free, intranasally administered nanoemulsion-based RSV vaccine would be a great advance in the effort to prevent RSV infection," says James R. Baker, Jr., M.D., director of the MNIMBS and Ruth Dow Doan Professor of Internal Medicine at U-M. He also is founder and CEO of NanoBio.
MNIMBS invented the vaccine technology, and this technology was then transferred to NanoBio Corp. who named it NanoStat.™ The company's lead vaccine candidate, NB-1008, is a seasonal influenza vaccine administered via a nasal dropper. In a recently completed Phase 1 clinical study, NB-1008 was safe, well tolerated and elicited both mucosal and systemic immune responses following a single intranasal vaccination in a study of 199 healthy adults.
Other intranasal vaccines under development in animals by the MNIMBS and NanoBio Corp. include pandemic influenza, hepatitis B, HIV, pneumococcal, anthrax and smallpox. This platform technology has demonstrated numerous advantages over traditional vaccines, including the ability to generate robust mucosal and systemic immunity; antigen-sparing qualities; cross-protection against non-vaccinated strains; ability to adjuvant multiple antigen types without inducing inflammation; thermally stabilizing the vaccine; and removing the need for needles and refrigeration.
About the MNIMBS
The Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences is a true multidisciplinary team of chemists, physicists, engineers, toxicologists, physicians, biologists, pharmacists, and (bio)informatics specialists collaborating on nanoscience in biology and medicine. The MNIMBS first developed the nanoemulsion-based NanoStat™ technology that is further commercialized by NanoBio Corp.
NanoBio Corporation, a University of Michigan spinoff, is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing dermatological products, anti-infective treatments and intranasal vaccines derived from its patented NanoStat™ technology platform. The company's lead product candidates are nanoemulsion based treatments for herpes labialis (licensed to GSK in the U.S. and Canada), onychomycosis, acne, cystic fibrosis and a broad platform of intranasal vaccines. The company's headquarters and laboratory facilities are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Disclosures: Baker holds an equity interest in the NanoBio Corporation.