Netherlands-based Intravacc, a company active in translational research and development of viral and bacterial vaccines, has partnered with Buffalo, NY-based Therapyx, to further develop and optimize the world’s first prophylactic vaccine against gonorrhea, NGoXIM. For this Therapyx received a $2.8 million Phase IIB grant in the U.S. and has chosen to partner with Intravacc for its capabilities and infrastructure for the optimization of vaccines, vaccine processes and vaccine technologies.
NGoXIM is a microsphere vaccine with encapsulated interleukin-12 (IL-12) and outer bacterial membrane vesicles from Neisseria gonorrhoeae, developed with Intravacc’s OMV platform. This vaccine therefore consists of a combination of adjuvant and antigen, specifically designed for mucosal immunization. Vaccination with NGoXIM has been shown to induce potent and persistent antibacterial activity in primates. In this collaboration, the parties will focus on enhancing and optimizing the specific adaptive immune response in non-human primates as a prelude to testing in humans. This should ultimately lead to a vaccine that provides lasting protection against infection with the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.
“We are proud to partner with Therapyx in the further optimization and development of the world’s first gonorrhea vaccine,” said Jan Groen, chief executive officer, Intravacc. “Vaccination with the candidate vaccine inducing a potent and lasting antibacterial activity in primates, not only shows the proof-of-principle for NGoXIM, but also the potency of the mucosal vaccine platform in general. This rapidly adaptable platform for the engineering and development of mucosal vaccines has enormous potential for challenging respiratory viral infections, including influenza and Covid-19, among others. With our unique infrastructure and pilot plant for the optimization of vaccines, vaccine processes and vaccine technologies, we can contribute to accelerated further development of this promising vaccine, for which there is a great worldwide medical need.”
For the development of vaccines, Intravacc has designed and developed a platform based on outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) – spherical particles with intrinsic adjuvant properties. The OMVs can be rigged with immunogenic peptides and/or proteins that stimulate effective adaptive immunity. The OMV carrier has been optimized to induce a more effective immune response against these newly introduced antigens. Intravacc has also developed genetic tools to increase the yield of OMVs, reduce the toxicity and achieve the desired antigenic composition. Intravacc’s OMV platform is fully scalable and allows rapid and efficient modification of the antigen composition, either through genetic modification of the bacterial host or by associating antigens with stored OMVs.