IBT Secures Another SBIR to Discover Staph Vaccines
A Novel Paradigm for Fighting Staphylococcal Infections and Their Complications
The pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is dependent on a wide range of virulence factors including cell surface proteins, polysaccharides, and secreted toxins. Surface antigens mediate the attachment of the bacteria to the tissue, protect the bacteria from immune cells, and regulate the metabolic needs of the bacteria. S. aureus has an arsenal of secreted toxins that use a variety of mechanisms to cause tissue damage and thus promote bacterial dissemination and distant organ seeding. These toxins also inactivate or kill immune cells, such as phagocytic neutrophils, to evade the host immune response and to provide the bacteria with a growth advantage.
Lessons from prior failed efforts clearly show that an effective vaccine against S. aureus must be multivalent and importantly, must include attenuated toxin antigens. Using state of the art medicinal chemistry methods, IBT has designed and produced highly attenuated vaccines and antibody therapeutics for a variety of staphylococcal exotoxins and other relevant antigens including hemolysins (alpha and gamma toxin), leukocidins (such as PVL), and superantigens (SEB, SEA, TSST-1).
IBT's candidate vaccines have already demonstrated remarkable efficacy against S. aureus induced sepsis and pneumonia in mice and proof of concept studies in other models of staphylococcal infections are underway. A portfolio of patented intellectual property around these vaccine and immunotherapeutic candidates has been assembled to support continued development.
Recombinant staphylococcal enterotoxin (STEBVax) is IBT's prototype superantigen vaccine, currently (2013-2014) undergoing a Phase I clinical trial under an NIH sponsored program. STEBVax will be a component of a multivalent S. aureus vaccine, but also serves as a stand alone vaccine for protection of military and civilian populations against possible usage of this potent toxin in a biowarfare or bioterror attack.
Immunotherapeutic research at IBT focuses on the development of monoclonal antibodies, including bispecific and multispecific antibodies, that neutralize S. aureus toxins.
IBT is seeking partnership for advanced development of its multivalent toxoid vaccine and immunotheraputics.