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Posted: Dec 13, 2011
Nanomedicine Firm Liquidia Partners With PATH On New Pneumonia Vaccine
(Nanowerk News) Liquidia Technologies today announced it has entered into a collaborative agreement with PATH, a global health nonprofit organization, to conduct preclinical proof-of-concept studies on a next generation pneumococcal vaccine that could potentially allow for broadened efficacy and manufacturing efficiencies and result in greater access of such a vaccine to a global population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumonia kills an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of five years every year – more than any other illness. More than half of these deaths are caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that has many variations globally and is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
"We are exceptionally pleased to have the opportunity to join forces with PATH with the goal of abating the devastating global impact of pneumococcal disease," said Neal Fowler, CEO Liquidia Technologies, "By improving vaccine performance and reducing manufacturing costs using our PRINT® technology, we believe this collaboration has the potential to significantly impact the spread of pneumonia in the developing world."
In the United States, routine immunization of children with pneumococcal vaccines has nearly eliminated childhood pneumococcal disease caused by strains common in the industrialized world. However, in the developing world, these vaccines are often cost prohibitive and do not cover all variations of the pneumococcal bacterium. Broad spectrum, affordable vaccines are ultimately needed to protect children in low-income countries, where pneumococcus deaths are most prevalent.
"PATH is committed to working with scientists and manufacturers to advance vaccines that can prevent the spread of pneumonia and other pneumococcal diseases among children in the developing world," said Dr. Mark Alderson, director of PATH's pneumococcal vaccine project "Technologies such as PRINT may allow us to find safe and effective pneumococcal vaccines that can be delivered to a global population in a cost-effective manner."
Utilizing a novel technology known as the PRINT (Particle Replication In Non-Wetting Templates) platform, Liquidia is creating rationally designed carriers for improved delivery of small molecule and biological cargos. The PRINT platform offers the first GMP compliant platform for designing and fabricating monodisperse particles of precise size, shape, and chemistry. This unique ability to precisely control particle design could transform the way drugs are developed, including more effective and less toxic therapeutics and vaccines. By leveraging its novel molding capabilities, Liquidia can bring together multiple vaccine components in highly precise particulate presentations to optimize across safety, efficacy and cost. Liquidia entered into its first Phase 1 clinical trial of an influenza vaccine in 2010 and has developed a portfolio of vaccine programs in early preclinical development.
Liquidia Technologies is developing highly precise particle-based vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of human disease. Combining a deep understanding of particle-based drug development with breakthrough small molecule and biological therapeutics, Liquidia is engineering vaccines and therapeutics that have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of human life. In addition to its own products, Liquidia licenses its PRINT® particle technology and its GMP manufacturing capabilities to support proprietary programs advanced by collaborators. The company was founded in 2004 and is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. www.liquidia.com.
PATH is an international nonprofit organization that transforms global health through innovation. PATH takes an entrepreneurial approach to developing and delivering high-impact, low-cost solutions, from lifesaving vaccines and devices to collaborative programs with communities. Through its work in more than 70 countries, PATH and its partners empower people to achieve their full potential. For more information, please visit www.path.org.