Type of information: Research agreement
Company: Soligenix (USA - NY) the University of Hawaii (USA)
Therapeutic area: Infectious diseases
Type agreement: research
Disease: COVID-19, coronavirus infection
- • On March 23, 2020, Soligenix announced that its ongoing collaboration with the University of Hawaii at is being expanded to assess potential coronavirus vaccines (including COVID-19). Under the Company's Public Health Solutions business segment, ongoing collaborations with Axel Lehrer, PhD of the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), have demonstrated the feasibility of developing heat stable subunit filovirus vaccines, including Ebola virus disease caused by either Zaire or Sudan ebolavirus variants, as well as Marburg virus disease, with both monovalent and bivalent vaccine combinations. Formulation conditions have been identified to enable heat stabilization of each antigen, alone or in combination, for at least 12 weeks at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Soligenix and its collaborators are expanding the technology platform to assess compatibility with coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
- The vaccine platform includes three essential components:
1) a protein antigen, specifically a viral surface glycoprotein, which mediates entry and fusion of the virus with host cells and is manufactured with a proprietary insect cell expression system coupled with protein-specific affinity purification;
2) an adjuvant which has been shown to enhance both cell mediated and humoral immunity; and
3) a formulation which enables thermostabilization of the resulting mixture, avoiding the need for cold chain storage and shipping.
The resulting vaccine is broadly applicable, including to individuals often excluded from common viral vector vaccine approaches such as children, the elderly and the immunocompromised. These same components can now be applied to coronavirus vaccine, using well-defined surface glycoprotein(s) from one or more coronaviruses, which will include key antigens expected to be protective for COVID-19. The protection of elderly and immunocompromised populations are particularly important in the context of COVID-19.