Researcher Receives $5.6 Million NIH Award for Development of an Antigen-sparing Adjuvant for Vaccines
New York, NY, March 27, 2013-- Sara Lustigman, Ph.D., a researcher at Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute (LFKRI), the research branch of New York Blood Center (NYBC) has been awarded a five-year, $5.6 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Lustigman, along with Maria Elena Bottazzi, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine in Texas and Hao Shen, Ph.D., Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will collaborate to develop a novel 'antigen-sparing' adjuvant to be used to develop more effective vaccines. Antigen-sparing adjuvants require much less antigen per vaccine dose to produce an effective response, thus increasing the number of doses that can be manufactured with the same amount of antigen.
With the inability to protect the public using traditional approaches to develop highly effective vaccines against new influenza strains, HIV, HCV, SARS, West Nile and the increased threat of bioterrorism, the demand for adjuvants has accelerated and become a priority for vaccine manufacturers. Adjuvants are immunological vehicles used for enhancing antigenicity and efficacy of vaccines and can be broadly separated into two classes based on their principal mechanisms of action: vaccine delivery systems and agents that can stimulate the immune system. Antigen-sparing vaccines can be particularly valuable in situations where the demand for a vaccine can exceed the supply, as in January 2013 when the flu season started early and providers experienced a shortage of seasonal flu vaccine.
'We have identified a naturally occurring protein (Ov-ASP-1) from Onchocerca volvulus, a parasitic nematode, that when used as a novel recombinant protein adjuvant in a simple aqueous formulation increases specific immune responses against subunit vaccine antigens or licensed vaccines when tested in mouse and in non-human primate vaccine models,' said Lustigman, Head of Molecular Parasitology at LFKRI and lead investigator of the NIH grant. 'Our next step is to accelerate the product development program to produce highly effective and safe antigen-sparing adjuvant-based vaccine formulations' It is expected that the completion of this project will result in a submission of an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) for novel rOv-ASP-1 adjuvant-based vaccines.
Research reported in this release was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute: Since 1964, LFKRI has led the way in blood research, breaking new ground in transfusion medicine and disease treatment and prevention. The institute is committed to furthering research efforts that support the discovery of new blood-related products, techniques, and therapies. LFKRI's work has dramatically impacted global health, improved blood banking, nurtured a generation of scientists, and added significantly to the world's store of biomedical knowledge. From the beginning, LFKRI has supported basic research to understand blood and disease at the molecular level as well as translational research that transforms the findings into major breakthroughs. With 17 state-of-the-art laboratories and close to 100 researchers, LFKRI brings world-class research to life every day. For further information, visit http://www.nybloodcenter.org/lfkri.do?sid0=64
About New York Blood Center: New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers. For almost 50 years, NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to hospitals serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank. NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals along with consultative services in transfusion medicine. Please visit us on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/newyorkbloodcenter. Follow us on Twitter: @NYBloodCenter.
About Baylor College of Medicine: Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in Houston is recognized as a premier academic health science center and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. It is the only private medical school in the greater southwest and is ranked as one of the top 25 medical schools for research in U.S. News and World Report. BCM is listed 17th among all U.S. medical schools for National Institutes of Health funding, and first in Texas. Located in the Texas Medical Center, BCM has affiliations with eight teaching hospitals. Currently, BCM trains more than 3,000 medical, graduate, nurse anesthesia, and physician assistant students, as well as residents and post-doctoral fellows. Follow Baylor College of Medicine on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BaylorCollegeOfMedicine) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/BCMHouston).
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania(founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 16 years, according to U.S. News and World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $398 million awarded in the 2012 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top 'Honor Roll' hospitals by U.S. News and World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2012, Penn Medicine provided $827 million to benefit our community.