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ACE, PATH to develop E. coli vaccines
LONDON—ACE BioSciences, the Danish biotechnology company focused on vaccines for infectious diseases, has entered into a research collaboration with PATH, an international non-profit organization, to develop oral E. Coli vaccines for the developing world.
Under the terms of the agreement, ACE BioSciences will collaborate with PATH's Vaccine Stabilization Project team to develop dry and temperature-stable enterotoxigenic E. Coli (ETEC) vaccine candidates. The pilot studies will utilize ACE527, ACE BioSciences' live, whole-cell oral vaccine candidate that comprises three attenuated ETEC strains and represents the culmination of a development program that has already demonstrated safety and immunogenicity in five clinical trials.
The goal of the program is to develop temperature-stable formulations, such as spray or freeze-dried vaccines, which would not require refrigerated storage. Such easily stored, orally administered vaccines would support the routine, widespread vaccination of children in developing countries.
In addition to providing its ETEC strains, ACE BioSciences will contribute its proprietary knowledge on optimized growth and freeze-drying methods and analytical assays for the ETEC strains as well as give technical support.
"We believe that ACE527, which we are developing to combat travelers' diarrhea, will be the first oral ETEC vaccine," says ACE BioSciences CEO Ingelise Saunders. "From an ethical standpoint, this collaboration will help to ensure that all mankind can benefit from our work. From a commercial perspective, we will continue to move forward our in-house development programs to enhance our portfolio of travelers' diarrhea vaccines which, in addition to ETEC, includes the first commercial vaccine to combat the bacterium Campylobacter."
"This work could help improve the practicality of using ETEC vaccines in the developing world and, in so doing, improve their potential value as public health tools," adds Dr. Richard Walker, director of EVI.
The collaboration will be funded under PATH's Enteric Vaccine Initiative. All parties will share the results of the work.