Day 2 :
Fina Biosolutions LLC, USA
Time : 09:00-09:30
Andrew Lees is the Founder and Scientific Director of Fina Biosolutions LLC, in Rockville, USA. He is the author of over 60 peer-reviewed articles and holds over 20 patents. Conjugation chemistry developed by him is used by GSK, the Serum Institute of India, The Chengdu Institute of Biological Products and others in their S. pneumoniae and meningococcal conjugate vaccines. He is also an Associate Professor at the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. He holds a BS in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College and a PhD in Biophysics from The Johns Hopkins University.
Conjugate vaccines to prevent Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae type-b and meningococcal disease have been very effective at reducing disease. Many additional conjugate vaccines are under development including ones in diverse areas such as malaria transmission blocking, anti-cancer, anthrax and drug addiction. Among pediatric vaccines, conjugates are some of the most complex and expensive vaccines to produce resulting in a high financial burden, especially for lesser developed countries and vaccine funders such as the Global Alliance for Vaccines. Efficient manufacturing methodologies can help to reduce costs and increase vaccine supply. Of the three commonly used conjugation chemistries, cyanogen bromide, reductive amination and CDAP, CDAP gives the highest yields. High yields with CDAP chemistry can be achieved with a good understanding of the chemistry and the use of design of experiment to optimize multiple variables. Another costly element of conjugate vaccines is the widely used carrier protein, CRM197, which traditionally has been produced in Corynebacteria at low yield. Commercially available CRM197 has been too expensive for many researchers, inhibiting R&D work. We have achieved high expression levels of soluble, properly-folded CRM197 in E. coli (EcoCRM), resulting in low cost CRM197. “EcoCRM”, economical CRM from E. coli, can reduce the cost of conjugate vaccine research as well as the price of the clinical product.
Foundation T. & L. de Beaumont Bonelli for Cancer Research, Italy
Time : 09:30-10:00
Giulio Tarro graduated from Medicine School, Naples University (1962). Research Associate, Division of Virology and Cancer Research, Children’s Hospital (1965-1968), Assistant Professor of Research Pediatrics, College Medicine (1968-1969), Cincinnati University, Ohio. Oncological Virology Professor, Naples University (1972-1985). Chief Division Virology (1973-2003), Head Department Diagnostic Laboratories, (2003-2006). D. Cotugno Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Naples; Emeritus, 2006 -. Since 2007 Chairman Committee of Biotechnologies and VirusSphere, World Academy Biomedical Technologies, UNESCO, Adjunct Professor Department Biology, Temple University, College of Science and Technology, Philadelphia, recipient of the Sbarro Health Research Organization lifetime achievement award (2010). President Foundation de Beaumont Bonelli for Cancer Research.
Misconceptions and misinformation pose barriers to vaccinations. For instance a report linking the measles vaccine to autism, the paper was later retracted but it was used by ill informed peers and anti-vaccine groups. Research is badly needed to develop strategies to communicate the importance of vaccinations to uncertain parents. The 2008 San Diego measles outbreaks cost over 10.000 dollars for each infection in comparisons to the total cost to contain the outbreak (approximately 124.000 dollars). Even if there are rare cases of vaccine damage, the research to facilitate vaccination must be done to prevent diseases. HBV virus, responsible for hepatitis-B infection, is able to prevent 50% of all liver cancers. Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV) has been correlated with the cervical cancer (genotypes 16 and 18 particularly oncogenic in humans): The USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 released the first vaccine against HPV. Long years of research where required for busting the new system to fight cancer. Research is going to obtain the complete sequence by proteomics approaches, in order to achieve adequate antigen preparations that might be used to generate assays for a specific anticancer vaccine. Finally, the ability of the immune system to recognize a tumor-associated antigen, thus enabling development of a vaccine approach for therapeutic application, represents a main target of this field of research.
Université Grenoble-Alpes, France
Time : 10:20-10:50
Emmanuel Drouet, is professor of Virology at the University of Grenoble (France), and previously served as a biomedical pathologist in the Institut Pasteur (Lyon, France). As scientist in EMBL laboratory (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), Dr Drouet’s research investigates the persisting viruses in human (RNA and DNA viruses) and the balance with our host immune system. He focuses on their effects on humans (both their impact in pathology and their symbiotic relationships in humans). Relying on clinical observations, Drouet pioneered experiments about the positive role of some viruses (human herpesviruses, human endogenous retroviruses) on human health. His studies shed a new light on microbial agents, behaving alternatively in a cooperative or destructive way depending on the environment they find themselves in. Emmanuel Drouet has an excellent track record in herpesvirus field, and his group is engaged in clinical research in the field of EBV diseases. Current research included the field of Hepatitis C Virus research, leading to elucidation of some aspects of its epidemiology and control.
Human Herpesviruses (HHV1-8) have co-evolved through a persistent infection in the host, spread efficiently to others, generally without causing serious disease. The complex interplay between host and virus has made it difficult to elaborate useful vaccine strategies to protect against the HHV-associated diseases. The Varicella-Zoster vaccine represents the paradigm of a successful Herpesvirus vaccine. This live-attenuated vaccine demonstrates unequivocally that it is possible to develop vaccines against these viruses. Over the years, the development of HHV vaccines has been a story of mixed fortunes, especially for HSV-2 and HCMV. However, studies carried out in various disease settings (i.e. transplant patients or pregnant women), have clearly emphasized the importance of cellular immunity and it is indeed encouraging to see that recent HHV vaccine (i.e. HCMV) development programs have started to incorporate this arm of the immune system. Nowadays, an array of arguments calls for a realistic goal for vaccine strategies which should be preventing HHV disease rather than HHV infection. It is particularly the case for the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV or HHV4) which is the primary cause of infectious mononucleosis and is associated with epithelial cell carcinomas, as well as lymphoid malignancies. One challenge is that the EBV expresses very different proteins during its lytic and its latent phases. To address this, vaccine candidates have been designed to include proteins from both phases. Here we review the history of EBV vaccine development and the current strategies in the development of new EBV vaccines: As EBV is associated with nearly 200,000 new malignancies each year worldwide, an EBV vaccine to prevent these diseases is really needed. Parallel to this need one could propose priorities for future research: (i) Identification of surrogate markers that predict the development of EBV-related malignancies. (ii) Determination of immune correlates of protection against EBV infection and disease in animal models and in humans. (iii) Definition of a goal for an EBV vaccine and criteria for licensure.