THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Affinivax, PATH team up to develop pneumococcal vaccine

Biotechnology company Affinivax, Inc. announced recently that it has entered an exclusive partnership with PATH, a global health nonprofit, to advance the company’s top vaccine candidate for Streptococcus pneumoniae.

The partnership includes funding from PATH to support product development, preclinical testing and manufacturing. The goal is to identify and choose a final candidate to eventually use in clinical testing.

The vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae was developed using Affinivax’s Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS) technology, which has the potential to protect children and adults against a broader range of pneumococcal strains. MAPS also provides for a faster, more cost-efficient approach to producing vaccines on a global basis.

“Affinivax’s MAPS technology offers the potential to increase breadth of protection with a cost-effective approach, which could enable children to have access to life-saving vaccines against pneumococcus,” PATH’s Pneumococcal Vaccine Project Director Mark Alderson said. “This collaboration with Affinivax exemplifies PATH’s dedication to working with scientists and companies to advance vaccines that can prevent the spread of pneumonia and other pneumococcal diseases among children in the developing world.”

Affinivax CEO Steven Brugger is equally excited about the partnership.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with PATH and benefit from their extensive expertise and experience in the global development of vaccines against pneumococcus,” Brugger said. “PATH’s commitment and involvement will enable us to accelerate the development of our lead vaccine program towards the clinic and realize our goal to offer more accessible vaccines, with broader protection against diseases, to children and adults around the world.”

The World Health Organization estimates that over 1.6 million people, including more than 800,000 children under age 5, die every year from pneumococcal infections that mostly affect the upper respiratory tract.