Antigen Discovery, Inc. Awarded Phase II SBIR Grant to Identify Biomarkers Associated with Protection against Malaria
IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Antigen Discovery, Inc. (ADi) today announced that it has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health. The three-year award, totaling approximately $ 2.5 million, is a continuation of a Phase I SBIR grant to scan the Plasmodium falciparum proteome for protective antigens. The funds will support a collaborative research effort between ADi and Sanaria, Inc. to use ADi's proteome microarrays to identify biomarkers associated with responses to the administration of Sanaria's malaria products in human trials, including Sanaria® PfSPZ Vaccine (radiation attenuated sporozoites), Sanaria® PfSPZ Challenge (fully infectious sporozoites), and Sanaria® PfSPZ-CVac (PfSPZ Challenge administered with malaria chemoprophylaxis). An effective malaria vaccine would greatly benefit the billions at risk throughout the world. "By comparing the serum antibody profiles from vaccinees who are protected with those who are not, we aim to identify surrogate antibody biomarkers associated with sporozoite vaccine mediated protection. Such markers are a critically important component of vaccine development," states Dr. Philip Felgner, Principal Investigator, Founder and Chairman of ADi. According to Dr. Stephen L. Hoffman, Sanaria's Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, "This is an unprecedented opportunity to exploit ADi's unique technology to advance our understanding of protective immunity against malaria, and thereby accelerate development and licensure of a highly effective malaria vaccine."
Additionally, serum samples will be analyzed from clinical studies conducted at Radboud University Nijmengen Medical Center (RUNMC) in the Netherlands, in which volunteers were completely protected after being immunized by the bite of mosquitoes carrying viable (non-irradiated) PfSPZ while taking chloroquine chemoprophylaxis to prevent blood stage infection. The protection lasted for 2 years. Dr. Robert Sauerwein, director of the RUNMC studies, stated "This is a very exciting opportunity to gain significant insights into how PfSPZ works to provide robust protection against malaria."
"We are pleased and privileged to have the opportunity to work with the Sanaria and RUNMC teams on this exciting project and grateful for continued support from the NIAID," said Dr. Xiaowu Liang, President and CEO of ADi. "We aim to develop a diagnostic test that can predict vaccine mediated protection, and to identify antigens that may be used to produce an effective subunit vaccine."
About Antigen Discovery, Inc.
Antigen Discovery, Inc. is a privately owned biotechnology company located in Irvine, California. ADi has a proprietary high throughput proteomics platform technology for biomarker discovery. The company uses and commercializes its innovative proteome microarrays and testing models to facilitate the development of new diagnostic tests, therapeutics and vaccines for infectious disease, autoimmunity, cancer and more. For more information about ADi see http://www.antigendiscovery.com
About Sanaria, Inc.
Sanaria's mission is to develop and commercialize live, whole sporozoite vaccines against malaria. Sanaria's sporozoite based products are being tested in clinical trials in the United States, Africa and Europe. Sanaria also makes available to the research community a range of parasitological and entomological reagents and assay services. For more information, see http://www.sanaria.com.
Adam Richman, Ph.D.
SOURCE Antigen Discovery, Inc.