The Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
Augmenta Biologicals, LLC, a biotech company housed in the LIMR Incubator, received its first US patent based on a novel vaccine-enhancing technology. The proprietary technology increases the immune response to a vaccine while decreasing the dose. This reduces costs by increasing the number of vaccine units produced from a given amount of material. Another key advantage is augmented vaccine performance without induction of inflammatory responses - a leading cause of adverse side effects in vaccines. The technology will be produced by Augmenta for vaccine manufacturers to create new or improved vaccines.
Augmenta’s technology takes advantage of a natural role that red blood cells play in immunity. The vaccine is based on a conjugated antigen that, upon injection, targets red blood cells, attaches to a surface protein on these cells, and travels to the liver and spleen for presentation to the immune system by macrophages and dendritic cells. B cells then initiate antibody production against the foreign protein, creating immunity. This natural method of stimulating the body’s immune system eliminates the inflammatory responses that are caused by many traditional adjuvants, resulting in fewer side effects.
"Investigators have known for decades that red blood cells can increase antigen potency,” comments Dr. Paul Simon, founder, president and CSO of Augmenta. “We have developed an injectable approach to harness this natural pathway, employing a versatile plug-and-play coupling method to turbo-charge antigens and elicit powerful, durable and protective immunity.”
The new patent includes coverage of Augmenta’s work with a promising universal flu vaccine target, M2e. This influenza antigen is a viral peptide common to all major strains of the flu including the seasonal, bird and swine varieties.
Augmenta Biologicals develops products to improve the performance of vaccines and products to clear pathogens from the blood. Augmenta is currently working on products for swine, pets and humans and will license its technology for use in veterinary and human vaccines. For more information, please visit www.augmentabio.com.
Founded in 1927, the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research center located in suburban Philadelphia on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center. Part of Main Line Health, LIMR is one of the few freestanding, hospital associated medical research centers in the United States. The faculty and staff at the Institute are dedicated to advancing an understanding of the causes of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. This information is used to help improve diagnosis and treatment of these diseases as well as find ways to prevent them. LIMR is also committed to extending the boundaries of human health and well-being through technology development and the training of the next generation of scientists and physicians. To learn about LIMR, visit www.limr.org.