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Apr 01, 2013
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Hookipa: Next wave vector

Hookipa's Vaxwave vaccine vectors to avoid adjuvants, boosters

Hookipa Biotech AG is using its Vaxwave technology to discover and develop viral vectors designed to elicit B cell and CD8+ T cell immune responses without concurrent induction of antibodies that block vector re-administration.

A number of companies have developed vaccine vectors based on viruses, but the method has several challenges, including high seroprevalence rates of the viruses from which the vectors are derived and vector-specific antibody immunity. The former can interfere with the efficacy of the initial vaccine administration while the latter can prevent effective boosting.

"Adenovirus-based vectors encounter highly varying seroprevalence depending on the serotype and the geographic region. Adenovirus serotype 5, for example, can have 90% seroprevalence in sub-Saharan Africa," CEO Katherine Cohen told BioCentury.

Later, when the body has developed antibodies against a vector following initial administration, a different vector product is needed for an effective boost. "In reality, no matter how powerful that first shot is, you need a boost at some...

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