NovaDigm strengthens candida vaccine portfolio with three new antigens

Print 12 June 2014

NovaDigm Therapeutics has acquired the rights, in four separate transactions, to three well-studied Candida vaccine antigens, significantly bolstering the Company’s Candida vaccine pipeline.

These three antigens are in addition to the Company's agglutinin-like sequence 3 (Als3) antigen used in NDV-3, NovaDigm's lead vaccine being evaluated in an on-going Phase 1b/2a study. NovaDigm now has four of the five most widely studied Candida antigens, and two of those have successfully completed Phase 1 studies.

The three antigens acquired are hyphally-regulated protein 1 (Hyr1), secreted aspartyl proteinase 2 (Sap2) and a ß-mannan conjugate. Hyr1 was licensed from the Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The use of recombinant Hyr1 as a protective antigen was discovered by NovaDigm's founding scientists, led by John E. Edwards, Jr., MD, Chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Rights to Sap2 were acquired from Pevion, a Swiss biotech company, and Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome (Italian National Health Institute, ISS). Recombinant Sap2 antigen was developed by a team led by Professor Antonio Cassone, MD, formerly of ISS and currently at the Center of Genomics, Genetics and Biology of the University of Perugia.

Rights to the ß-mannan trisaccharide conjugate were acquired from three leading academic researchers: David Bundle, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, the Raymond U. Lemieux Chair in Carbohydrate Chemistry, and a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Alberta, Jim E. Cutler, PhD, Professor (Retired), Pediatrics and Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine and Mark Nitz, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, University of Toronto.

"These acquisitions solidify NovaDigm as the leader in Candida vaccine development," said Timothy Cooke, Ph.D., NovaDigm's Chief Executive Officer. "As we look to expand beyond the recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis indication, a multi-antigen vaccine may provide the best protection against invasive infections, and NovaDigm is now well-positioned to develop such a vaccine."

Candida species contain a range of factors that facilitate tissue invasion by enabling the fungus to evade, modulate or exacerbate the host's immune system. Thus, a multi-antigen vaccine approach could significantly weaken the ability of Candida to escape from the body's immune system and provide a more effective vaccine.



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