Data Presented at Leading Influenza Conference
HIGH WYCOMBE, England, June 18 /CNW/ - Previously undisclosed
pre-clinical data showing how a new flu vaccine has the potential to protect
against all strains of influenza, including pandemic and annual, was presented
today by PepTcell, at the 2007 Options for the Control of Influenza VI
(Options) Conference, in Toronto, Canada.
The pre-clinical results, which will be published in the European Journal
of Immunology, showed how mice vaccinated with PepTcell's novel flu vaccine,
FLU-v, had a significantly increased survival rate when challenged with a
lethal dose of influenza virus, compared with those that received a control
Dr Wilson Caparros-Wanderley, PepTcell's Chief Scientific Officer said:
"These are extremely encouraging results for PepTcell's FLU-v vaccine. They
show that a vaccine, targeted at parts of the virus which do not change from
year-to-year, can be effective against lethal influenza strains."
The data showed how PepTcell has used a novel proprietary prediction
algorithm to locate conserved immunogenic regions in animal and human strains
of flu virus. The analysis identified six highly conserved regions within
several proteins that are capable of triggering an immune response.
These six regions were then chemically synthesised as small protein
fragments called peptides. The resulting preparation, FLU-v, was used to
immunise eight transgenic mice. At the same time a group of eight control mice
were immunised with a set of non-related peptides.
Following immunisation with FLU-v the mice launched a specific T-cell
immune response of the CD8+ subtype against the peptides. T-cells are part of
the immune system, helping to fight off infection and disease by killing
abnormal cells. The CD8+ T-cells isolated from the mice showed activity
against human cells infected with three unrelated influenza strains in in
vitro tests. This experiment confirmed that the peptide sequences in Flu-v are
highly conserved across strains, and that these peptides are naturally
presented on the surface of flu-infected cells, and therefore can be
recognised by the immune system.
When the immunised mice were subsequently challenged with a lethal dose
of influenza, the researchers found that fifty-seven percent of the mice who
had been immunised with the FLU-v vaccine survived, compared with none of the
mice in the control group.
Greg Stoloff, Managing Director of PepTcell, commented: "These results
suggest that PepTcell's FLU-v vaccine could eliminate the need for annual flu
vaccination as the immunity generated targets regions of the virus that remain
constant. The results also suggest that FLU-v has the potential to provide
effective protection against a pandemic flu strain by enabling stockpiling and
the initiation of a worldwide vaccination program ahead of an outbreak."
PepTcell is in the process of finalising all the manufacturing processes
for its vaccines, and expects FLU-v to enter Phase I clinical trials during
Notes for Editors
About the European Journal of Immunology
Gregory A Stoloff, Wilson Caparros-Wanderly: Synthetic multiepitope
peptides identified in silico induce protective immunity against multiple
influenza serotypes. European Journal of Immunology. 2007. Copyright Wiley-VCH
Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Reproduced with permission.
About PepTcell Ltd
PepTcell is a biotechnology company focused on applying its breakthrough
technology to the development of a new class of vaccines - T-cell vaccines -
against highly mutagenic viruses. The Company began operating in 2004, however
the founding shareholders and key employees have been working on this novel
concept for over 20 years.
Since its inception, the Company has completed the majority of its
pre-clinical work for its influenza and HIV vaccines. PepTcell's lead product
Flu-V, a single treatment flu vaccine is about to enter clinical trials in the
UK. The vaccine, developed to be effective against all strains of flu virus
(technical animation available) could eliminate the need for annual flu
PepTCell, a private Company, headquartered in High Wycombe, UK is in the
process of finalising all the manufacturing processes for its Flu-V vaccine,
and successfully raised capital from a range of investors.
For further information please visit the website at www.peptcell.com
PepTcell's Influenza Vaccine - Flu-v
The Company's lead product, Flu-v, has been developed to provide a single
treatment flu vaccine which is effective against all strains of flu virus,
including pandemic strains.
Current flu vaccines only work against specific virus strains. As these
strains mutate frequently, vaccines also need to be updated. As such they do
not provide protection against emerging flu strains, such as seasonal or avian
flu. Using a novel proprietary epitope prediction algorithm, PepTcell has
successfully identified immunogenic regions of flu virus that have not changed
over 60 years, in both human and animal strains of the virus. This allows
Flu-v to target conserved regions of the virus conferring long-term protection
against the threat of emerging strains.
Unlike traditional vaccines which are grown in highly specialised
facilities and whose production is limited by egg supply and the process of
growing a vaccine, Flu-v can be quickly and easily manufactured in chemical
plants. This allows the vaccine to be made and administered in large
quantities prior to a pandemic outbreak, enabling a large proportion of the
world to be protected. The vaccine has now reached a very exciting stage of
its development. The majority of preclinical proof of principle studies are
complete and the vaccine will soon begin clinical trials in the UK.
For further information:
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