Pevion’s Therapeutic Candida Vaccine Generates Functional B Cell Memory in all Vaccinees
BERN, Switzerland, January 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Pevion Biotech AG today announced further data from the ongoing clinical study of its
therapeutic Candida vaccine PEV7, demonstrating the generation of specific and functional
B cell memory in 100% of vaccinees. Furthermore, the results again confirm the capability
of Pevion’s second generation virosomal vaccine platform to induce strong and long-lasting
immunity in humans against otherwise weak antigens.
Following the previously announced positive safety and immunogenicity results of PEV7,
the Company further investigated the vaccine-induced generation of B cell memory. To this
end, half of the group of volunteers vaccinated with the intramuscular low dose of PEV7
received a single booster immunization fourteen months after the primary vaccination
course. All vaccinees showed a rapid, specific response either in serum or in
cervicovaginal secretion or in both, after antibody titers had come down to baseline six
months prior to the boost in this low-dose group.
“Based on analyses of antibody functionality, as monitored by competitive target
inhibition, and antigen specific reactivity, we have evidence for an affinity maturation
of these antibodies,” explained Christian Moser, Head of Research at Pevion. “We are very
satisfied to see such an excellent induction of memory by the PEV7 vaccine even at low
dose, and we are now looking forward to obtain the results from the high-dose group.
Moreover, this is the first time for a second generation virosome-based vaccine that we
verified the generation of memory in humans by means of a booster immunization.”
The follow-up of the group of volunteers vaccinated with the intramuscular high dose
of PEV7 is ongoing and so far has shown high and persistent antibody titers until six
months after completion of the vaccination course. In order to evaluate the intravaginal
application of PEV7 in capsule form, an additional study arm is ongoing. First volunteers
have already been safely vaccinated.
About PEV7 therapeutic Candida vaccine
PEV7 is a clinical-stage, therapeutic vaccine being developed for the treatment of
recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), a moderate-to-severe disease affecting 7% of
all adult women. To date, there is no appropriate treatment for RVVC available. PEV7 is
based on a protein antigen, Sap2, a key virulence factor of vulvovaginal candidiasis that
is presented on the surface of virosomes. Pevion exclusively in-licensed the Sap2 antigen
from its academic partner, the Istituto Superiore di Sanita (ISS) in Rome, Italy.
The ongoing PEV7 Phase I study is designed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of
the therapeutic vaccine candidate in healthy volunteers. Half of the subjects will receive
intramuscular injections, while the other half will receive capsules, administered
intravaginally. In total, the study will enroll 48 healthy women of childbearing age.
Virosomes are a regulatory and market-approved vaccine technology that fulfills
carrier and adjuvant functions in one. Essentially, virosomes represent reconstituted
empty influenza virus envelopes, devoid of the genetic material of the source virus. As
such, virosomes do not replicate and are therefore an ideal combination of carrier plus
adjuvant for almost any given antigen, including peptide or protein-derived antigens. The
technology enables the use of poorly immunogenic antigens and thereby provides access to
new indications and markets. Two virosome-based vaccines (Epaxal(R) and Inflexal(R) V,
marketed by Crucell Switzerland AG) are licensed in over 40 countries, and more than 70
million doses of these vaccines have been commercially distributed, thereby providing a
solid safety and efficacy track record. Pevion has developed and owns the second
generation of virosomes, which have an excellent stability profile through lyophilization
and allow alternative product formulations, such as capsules.
About Pevion Biotech AG
Pevion Biotech AG is a fully independent Swiss vaccine company that develops
innovative vaccines for unmet medical needs based on its clinically and commercially
validated virosome technology. Its proprietary clinical pipeline includes a first-in-class
candidiasis vaccine. A clinical stage malaria vaccine candidate has been successfully
out-licensed, and the Company’s technology has been out-licensed for use as an HIV vaccine
currently in human trials. Pevion has in-house development capability and expertise,
including a state-of-the-art and industrially scalable GMP manufacturing process. Located
near Bern, Pevion was established by two founding companies, Bachem AG (SWX: BANB) and
Berna Biotech (now Crucell, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary). To date, Pevion has raised a
total of CHF 45 million from its founders and investors, BZ Bank, Bachem, BB Biotech
Ventures and private investors.
For more information, please visit http://www.pevion.com
For further information, please contact: Christian Moser, DVM, PhD, Head of Research Phone: +41-31-550-44-44, firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com ]
SOURCE Pevion Biotech AG