12:00 AM
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Apr 30, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Okairos: The evasive adenovirus

It's well known that adenovirus is a useful delivery system for eliciting T cell responses against pathogenic antigens. However, the virus is so common that many people have antibodies that inactivate it. This lack of potency has limited the use of adenovirus as a vector for many vaccines.

Okairos AG says its researchers modified the virus to evade neutralizing antibodies while they were part of Merck & Co. Inc. While the pharma company is using the technology for an HIV vaccine, Okairos has licensed it to develop prophylactic vaccines for malaria and HCV.

"Adenovirus is as potent as any immunogen plus adjuvants," CEO Riccardo Cortese said. "The advantage of adeno-virus is that it is very safe, it's been in thousands of individuals, and it's very cheap to manufacture."

But, he added,...

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