VLPExpress: a novel, high-throughput technology to accelerate the discovery and development of new vaccine.antigens based on Virus-Like Particles (VLPs)
The VLPExpress™ platform identifies the best Virus-Like
Particle-based vaccine for a disease-causing agent within 10 weeks.
Medicago is one of the first recipients of the CQDM funding program. In less than two years, Dr. Vézina and his team developed the VLPExpress, a high-throughput platform, from their proprietary plant-based transient expression system. The platform is designed to quickly identify the best VLP-based antigen presentations out of hundreds of candidates for a disease-causing agent. The best targets can then be characterized, produced and purified. An important part of the platform was the development of a generic purification process to accelerate the target evaluation. The validity and utility of this platform was demonstrated using viruses of the Orthomyxoviridae family. The project is expected to end in November 2011 with additional proof of concept on targets from other viral families. The approach used for the VLPExpress platform will open up new avenues for the development of more challenging vaccines, notably for microbial and parasitic antigens or cancer. The public-private consortium gathered by the CQDMand its associated mentorship program has benefited Medicago in multiple ways. “The development of the VLPExpress platform impacted our day-to-day activities. We are now more efficient at performing different steps of our technologies because of the capacity and speed brought by this high-throughput discovery platform” affirms Louis-Philippe Vézina, Chief Scientific Officer at Medicago.
Impact on the drug discovery process
- Flagship high-throughput platform for native and chimeric
vaccine antigen discovery:
Enveloped and non-enveloped vaccine development in diverse therapeutic areas such as infectious diseases and cancer
- 10 x faster to vaccine lead than traditional methods.
- Substantial reductions in costs from $1M to the low $100Ks.
- Novel proprietary antigens readily transferable to partner’s preferred vaccine manufacturing system.
- Immunization: most successful, cost-effective public health intervention, preventing between two and three million deaths yearly.
- However, several infectious diseases remain a major health concern.
- Over 1 million young children die every year from pneumococcal disease and rotavirus diarrhoea.
- Globally 64 million respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases with worldwide market estimated to be in the billions of $.
- An astounding 99% of cervical cancer cases are linked to an infection with a human papilloma virus (HPV).
- Between 170 and 200 million people are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) worldwide.
Fore more information