Research Efforts Focused on Developing DNA Vaccines
PALO ALTO, CA -- Feb. 23, 2005 -- Advances in immunology, molecular biology, and biotechnology over the past few years are supporting the development of vaccines with wider applicability.
“Extensive research has the potential to broaden the scope of vaccines beyond infectious diseases,” observes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst A.N. Aditya. “There is a possibility of novel vaccines for currently unmet disease targets such as HIV and hepatitis C among many others.”
Global R&D efforts focus on DNA vaccines that are capable of achieving potent immune responses without the potential drawbacks of conventional vaccines. “For instance, it is possible to manufacture and purify large amounts of the DNA vaccine through simple and inexpensive procedures,” says Aditya. “Moreover, all DNA vaccines use similar fermentation, purification, and validation techniques and eliminate the need for sophisticated protein production.”
In addition, DNA vaccines generate a strong cell and antibody mediated immune response. This provides life-long protection against the given disease-causing organism without the necessity of multiple injections.
DNA vaccines are also noninfectious and inherently stable, and therefore, ideal to target diseases such as HIV, where inoculation with a dead or attenuated virus is too risky. A number of DNA vaccines are currently in clinical trials and target towards infectious diseases such as AIDS, herpes, and meningitis and against various forms of cancer.
The introduction of new delivery platforms is another significant driving force for the production of vaccines. The latest trend has been in developing oral vaccines through genetically engineered plants.
With immense potential for commercialization, the oral mode of delivery expects to elicit a good immune response and improve compliance rates in patients.
For example, a novel oral anthrax vaccine expects to offer distinct advantages over the currently available injectables by inducing both systemic and mucosal immune responses. It is also likely to provide immunity within days and with just a single dose.
Researchers are also developing an aerosol nasal spray containing polymer microspheres to carry DNA vaccines into the lungs. Once inside the lungs, the particles degrade, releasing the medicine at a predetermined pace. “The vaccines also bypass other organs where unwanted side effects can take place” explains Aditya.
Researchers need to maintain the pace of research activities given the growing population and the rise in the number of diseases. More biomedical research can challenge the constant emergence of new diseases.
The vaccines sector has already seen significant consolidation, and it is likely that this trend will continue. With over 1000 vaccines in research and development worldwide, the future cost-effective alternative to conventional treatment proves to be vaccination.
Emerging Vaccines and Therapies is part of the Technical Insights - Healthcare Subscription Service, and examines the global research trends in the field of vaccine development. Apart from key technology drivers, the study also evaluates advances in R&D, product development, and regulatory aspects that affect the vaccines market. Executive summaries and interviews are available to the press.
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Emerging Vaccines and Therapies
Keywords in this release: vaccines, immunology, molecular biology, biotechnology, HIV and hepatitis C, DNA vaccines, protein production, antibody mediated immune response, genetically engineered plants, oral vaccines, oral anthrax vaccine, systemic and mucosal immune responses, aerosol nasal spray, polymer microspheres.
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