RecipharmCobra Biologics completes tuberculosis vaccine study

RecipharmCobra Biologics, a biopharmaceutical manufacturer, has announced the completion of a study it conducted on the development of an oral vaccine against tuberculosis.

The study, published in the journal Vaccine, was conducted with the Royal Holloway, University of London and the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, Italy, according to

The research concluded that, when administered orally, the vaccine ORT-VAC-DNA produced higher immune responses in mice than an injected DNA vaccine. There was also a reduction in the lungs of the TB bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the immunized mice.

Previous studies that utilized ORT-VAC to deliver protein-based vaccines against bubonic plague and anthrax have also been successful in mice.

RecipharmCobra’s vaccine delivery technology uses live Salmonella bacteria to deliver the TB vaccine. The bacteria have been modified so as not to cause disease, reports. DNA vaccines, in general, use a gene from a disease causing micro-organism to stimulate an immune response.

ORT-VAC manages to stabilize plasmids without the need for antibiotics, so no antibiotic resistant genes are present on the plasmid. This also means that ORT-VAC will not contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistant superbugs.

“Using an attenuated bacterium to deliver vaccines orally is a very exciting new area, and the delivery of DNA vaccines has been particularly challenging,” Simon Saxby, the vice-president of biologics for RecipharmCobra said, according to “The study illustrates the versatility of RecipharmCobra’s ORT-VAC technology to provide a delivery route for needle-free administration of a DNA vaccine. A vaccine based on ORT-VAC could be inexpensive to produce, simple to distribute and easy to administer, which is essential for tackling the disease in developing countries.”