March 4, 2014
ABL, Inc., a biomedical contract research and manufacturing organization to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, has been selected by Profectus BioSciences, Inc. (Profectus) to evaluate different delivery regimens of one of its HIV vaccine candidates. Selected regimens will be tested using an SIV infection model. ABL has performed vaccine and microbicide preclinical studies for over thirty years, and has developed a suite of technologies that support preclinical evaluation of HIV vaccine strategies in animal models. These include a sensitive viral RNA assay platform to detect low levels of transmitted virus, genetic tests to identify allelic variants of genes that could impact vaccine efficacy, as well as mucosal T cell and antibody responses that could thwart viral infection. The in vivo portion of the study will be performed by BIOQUAL under a strategic teaming agreement with ABL.
As part of its comprehensive HIV vaccine program, Profectus is developing a subunit vaccine composed of the envelope glycoprotein of HIV complexed with its receptor CD4, called IHV001. This complex triggers a structural rearrangement of the envelope to reveal a structure exposed as the virus enters a cell it is infecting. ABL has supported Profectus’ preclinical vaccine program for almost 10 years. The subject of this collaboration centers on optimizing the efficacy of the vaccine by combining it with the Profectus genetic adjuvant platform. Development of this vaccine is a collaboration between Profectus and scientists at the Institute for Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine. ABL’s President and CEO Thomas VanCott commented, “Profectus is a long-time partner, and we are very pleased to continue providing expert scientific know-how to optimize their vaccine for world-wide application.” This portion of the effort is funded through a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant award to Profectus from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).
See the press release here.