Dr Barry Marshall, Nobel Prize Winner, Scientific Director at Ondek has delivered a presentation showing his latest research on Helicobacter pylori platform technology (HPPT) and its unique potential as an oral delivery system at the World Vaccine Congress last week.
Dr. Marshall described the prospects for a vaccine system using modified Helicobacter pylori which is ingested by drinking and colonizes the stomach and delivers target agents to the host environment. It is called HPPT or Helicobacter pylori platform technology. Housed at University of Western Australia, Ondek has 12 employees who have been working on this technology for the past 5 years, and they work with quite a number of additional collaborators.
H. pylori infection is always associated with histological gastritis, and results in the production of IgG. Even nontoxigenic helicobacter will always give gastritis. Through genetic engineering, wild-type genes causing host symptoms can be removed if desired, and target genes can also be added. Examples of other live attenuated bacterial vaccines are: Orochol, Ty21a, and BCG. H. pylori may be unique in comparison to these other vaccines, however, in that one can add different antigens and still get protective responses, suggesting that individuals can receive more than one H. pylori platform vaccine against different pathogens or targets and still be successfully protected.
With respect to safety, H. pylori naturally infects an estimated 2.5 billion people globally who have the bacterium without exhibiting any symptoms. For this reason, it is not expected that there will be very many surprises when examining the safety profile of HPPT. Additionally, the platform is inexpensive to produce, orally dosed, potentially able to be desiccated, and can be administered in a single dose without a booster. There is a short lead time for production, which means there is no need for stockpiling. H. pylori does not have any taste, but the vehicle determines the flavour.
Summarizing up-to-date confidential pre-clinical and clinical information, Dr. Marshall shared promising results from antibody titers from a mouse model of H. pylori platform administration, as well as clinical data from a small trial. Data included safety profiles, colonization profiles, and the diary cards from participants which charted symptoms. Information was actively collected from participants through text messages, e-mails and phone calls. When describing the histology of H. pylori infections, if any lesions result, Dr. Marshall explained that they resemble the effects of aspirin administration.
There is potential also for cytokine delivery and immunotherapy for inflammatory disease. Ondek is hoping to do an IND filing and GMO pilot study in 2013.
Check back here in a couple of days for the presentation. Excellent presentation Dr Barry!