12:00 AM
 | 
Dec 20, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

BigDNA: Fewer Shots on Goal

BigDNA uses bacteriophage to deliver DNA vaccine for HBV

Most marketed HBV vaccines, as well as DNA vaccines in development for the disease, require multiple booster injections or an adjuvant to trigger an immune response. BigDNA Ltd. believes its bacteriophage-delivered DNA vaccine will require fewer injections and no adjuvant because it directly targets the antigen presenting cells involved in developing an immune response.

Marketed vaccines deliver recombinant hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) cultured in mammalian or yeast cells, and require three immunizations. DNA vaccines have the potential to be less expensive by lowering manufacturing costs and reducing the number of immunizations.

But DNA vaccines in general have achieved limited success in the clinic. BigDNA founder and CEO John March believes one reason is nonspecific uptake.

Many DNA vaccines are delivered via electroporation, which does not specifically target the immune cells responsible for vaccine uptake, according to March. Plus, electroporation requires high...

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