iBio gets patent for vaccine system aimed at plague

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iBio, Inc., Newark, announced that the U.S. Patent Office has allowed patent application 12/668,258 entitled “Yersinia Pestis Antigens, Vaccine Compositions and Related Methods.”

The claims cover plague antigens fused to the company’s iBioModulator protein, as well as vaccine compositions and a method for producing a protective immune response to the antigen.

The invention was developed by scientists at the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology, iBio’s research collaborator.

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Plague is a disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and primarily infects animals, but can spread to humans through bites from infected fleas or contact with infected animals. It is also considered a potential bioterrorism weapon, and a priority for effective vaccine development.

No plague vaccine is approved for use in the U.S. Although killed whole-cell plague vaccines have been reported to protect against bubonic plague in animal models, they were not effective against pneumonic plague.

By contrast, data previously published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Vaccine, demonstrated that a recombinant plague vaccine incorporating the iBioModulator protein, and produced via the iBioLaunch  platform in green plants, provided protection of non-human primates against pneumonic plague.

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