To help address the growing costs and long development timelines facing vaccine manufacturers, Lonza is announcing the launch of the Vaccine Design and Development Services Platform.
This platform includes in silico and in vitro tools to accelerate the design and assessment of vaccine candidates for their ability to provoke an effective immune response. Allowing companies to focus on the most promising vaccine candidates early in the process can help reduce time and costs, maximizing R&D resources.
Lonza is uniquely positioned to offer customers these services that include our Epibase™ In Silico (IS) and In Vitro (IV) tools for immunogenicity assessment. Epibase™ IS is a predictive tool driven by structural bioinformatics in conjunction with experimental data. This tool can predict potential peptide/HLA binding, which can be used to rationally design an efficacious vaccine. Recent enhancements enable extensive prediction of both HLA Class I CD8+ and Class II CD4+ T cell epitopes, strengthening the ability of Epibase™ IS to support lead vaccine candidate selection and optimization.
The Epibase™ IV screening services include a wide range of assays designed to assess immune responses raised by vaccine candidates. High-quality peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from human donors are used allowing for the comparison and ranking of candidates in healthy and/or specific diseased populations. A wide variety of antigens, including whole proteins, protein complexes, peptides, viruses, Virus Like Particles (VLPs), virosomes, and adjuvants can be tested with the Epibase™ IV tools.
As in vitro testing requires milligram quantities of vaccine candidates, Lonza offers the Light Path™ Custom Material Supply Service for small-scale production of proteins. The Light Path™ Discovery Service is a streamlined process that can provide sufficient product for in vitro assessment of vaccine immunogenicity. The Light Path™ service includes access to our industry-leading mammalian and microbial expression systems, which can lead to a seamless transition into larger-scale cGMP manufacturing for later development stages.
Our Applied Protein Services team of immunogenicity and bioinformatics experts based in Cambridge, UK will work with customers to develop the best assessment plan for their vaccine candidates. Our scientists will help interpret the data, rank candidates and guide re-engineering for optimization/enhancement of immunogenicity.
“Offering vaccine developers the predictive tools and services they need to assess their candidates for the ability to elicit an appropriate immune response, can help them optimize their R&D efforts and bring successful vaccines to the market,” said Anne Hays, head of Lonza’s custom development services organization.