Plague vaccine elicits 100% response in mice

A Canadian biomedical company said it has confirmed that a nasal vaccine protects mice against pneumonic Plague caused by lethal aerosol infection. In a series of experiments performed by the US Army Medical and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in collaboration with ID Biomedical, mice nasally immunized with Plague antigen formulated with the Proteosome technology were completely protected against lethality (100%) even when the dose of Plague antigen was ten-fold lower than ever previously given nasally. In marked contrast, none of the control mice given nasal solution without vaccine antigen survived.

From ID Biomedical:

ID Biomedical announces new data from Plague vaccine

Low doses of nasal Proteosome-based vaccine elicits 100% protection of mice against lethal aerosol infection
VANCOUVER, May 5 /CNW/ – ID Biomedical announced today that it has confirmed that nasal Proteosome(TM)-based vaccines protect against pneumonic Plague caused by lethal aerosol infection with virulent Plague bacteria in a mouse model of airborne dissemination.

In a series of experiments performed by the US Army Medical and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) at Fort Detrick (Frederick, Maryland), in collaboration with ID Biomedical, mice nasally immunized with Plague antigen formulated with the Proteosome technology were completely protected against lethality (100%) even when the dose of Plague antigen was ten-fold lower than ever previously given nasally. Mice were 100% protected when challenged at either early or later times after only two nasal immunizations of the Proteosome Plague vaccine. In marked contrast, none of the control mice given nasal solution without vaccine antigen survived (0%) the lethal aerosol challenge with virulent Plague bacteria.

High anti-Plague IgG antibodies in serum and high anti-Plague IgA levels in collected lung secretions were found at both early and late time points post-immunization with the nasal Proteosome-based Plague vaccine. These levels were 10-200 times the low levels of these antibodies detected when the Plague antigen was given nasally without the Proteosome-based technology.

These data are to be presented in part today in Arlington, VA by George Lowell, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ID Biomedical (Colonel, US Army, retired), at the 6th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research, sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and in part on May 20, 2003 in Washington, DC by Dr. Jefferey Adamovicz, LTC US Army, at the American Society for Microbiology 103rd General Meeting.

“These strong and protective serum IgG and lung IgA antibody results confirm the value of Proteosome-based adjuvants for nasal vaccines against bioterror agents, particularly since injected immunizations with the Plague antigen plus Alum (an FDA-approved adjuvant) did not elicit any detectable local IgA in collected lung fluids. It is important to note that the lung is the most important organ to protect against airborne biothreat attacks,” stated Dr. Lowell. “The potential for application of the Proteosome technology to develop novel, safe and highly effective nasal vaccines against multiple bioterror agents, including Pneumonic Plague, warrants serious consideration, especially given that other Proteosome-based vaccines have been safely administered to several hundred people in human clinical trials.”

The Plague, also known as “the Black Death,” is caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria. In past centuries, there have been over 150 recorded epidemics and pandemics of the Plague, including a pandemic that killed about one-third of the population of Europe and England. Plague pneumonia is highly contagious because large numbers of Plague bacteria can rapidly spread person-to-person through coughing and initial symptoms are similar to the flu. There is no licensed vaccine against the pneumonic form of Plague. The injected formalin- killed whole cell vaccine made many years ago does not protect against inhaled exposure to Plague bacteria and has been withdrawn from the market.

USAMRMC, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the Army’s medical materiel developer, with lead agency responsibility for medical research, product development, technology assessment and rapid prototyping, medical logistics management and health facility planning, and medical information management and technology. The USAMRMC’s expertise in these critical areas helps establish and maintain the capabilities required by the Army to fight and win on the battlefield.

The USAMRMC operates six medical research laboratories and institutes in the United States. These laboratories make up the core science and technology (S&T) capability of the Command. The Command’s in-house S&T capabilities are enhanced by a large extramural contract research program and numerous cooperative research and development (R&D) agreements with leading R&D organizations in the civilian sector.

About ID Biomedical

ID Biomedical is a North American based biotechnology company focused on the development of proprietary subunit vaccine products, including those based on its Proteosome(TM) platform intranasal adjuvant/delivery technology.

ID Biomedical is developing subunit vaccines for the prevention of a number of different diseases, as well as vaccines against biological warfare agents. The Company’s lead products in clinical development are the FluINsure(TM) intranasal influenza (flu) vaccine and the StreptAvax(TM) group A streptococcal vaccine. Additionally, the Company has several vaccines in preclinical development.

ID Biomedical has also developed a proprietary genomics analysis system, Cycling Probe(TM) Technology, which it is licensing to companies in the genomics and diagnostic industries for further product and technology development.

The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.

The foregoing information contains so-called forward-looking statements. These include statements about ID Biomedical’s expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies for the future, which it indicates by words or phrases such as “anticipate”, “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “will”, “we believe”, “ID Biomedical believes”, “management believes” and similar language. All forward-looking statements are based on ID Biomedical’s current expectations and are subject to risks uncertainties and to assumptions made. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include: (i) the ability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical development of its products; ii) the ability to obtain and enforce timely patent and intellectual property protection for its technology and products; iii) the ability to avoid, either by product design, licensing arrangement or otherwise, infringement of third parties’ intellectual property; iv) decisions, and the timing of decisions, made by the health regulatory agencies regarding approval of its products for human testing; v) the ability to complete and maintain corporate alliances relating to the development and commercialization of its technology and products; vi) market acceptance of its technology and product; and (vii) the competitive environment and impact of technological change. ID Biomedical bases its forward-looking statements on information currently available to it, and assumes no obligation to update them.

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