Our 3 target vaccine platforms
Ziccum focuses on three key vaccine platforms. All are being used extensively in high-value, innovative therapies - from personalized vaccines to cancer vaccines. We believe that ambient drying can play an important role in meeting the need in all three for new thermostability solutions, and a wider range of administration routes for patients.
mRNA/LNP vaccine platform
The mRNA/LNP vaccine platform is a scientific and strategic priority for Ziccum. In October 2022, as part of our ongoing in-house mRNA / LNP development project, we generated proof of successful nebulization and drying of vaccine lipid nanoparticles (LNP). To our knowledge this is the first time LNPs have been successfully nebulized.
From cancer to Covid-19, from HIV to hepatitis, mRNA research is advancing at high speed with paradigm-shifting results. Ziccum is committed to delivering novel data on dry formulated mRNA/LNP materials to the industry.
Partner projects and inhouse capabilities
Ziccum has its own inhouse development and research ongoing within the area of thermostable, dry-formulated mRNA/LNPs. The company has made significant strategic investment in specialist mRNA/LNP systems and offers premium partnership and development opportunities within the platform.
We believe that the potential for thermostable, novel formulations of mRNA/LNP materials will play an important role in driving the capabilities and commercialization of LaminarPace forward. Generating proprietary data on dry-formulated mRNA/LNP materials remains a key strategic priority.
Viral vector platform using Adenovirus
Four major Covid-19 vaccines currently use adenovirus vaccine vectors as a platform. The platform enables efficient gene transduction and research is ongoing in a wide range of indications, including cancer vaccines. For Ziccum, Viral Vectors using adenovirus are a high-value scientific and strategic priority.
Recent advances in molecular biology have revealed the molecular mechanisms of action of a number of specific viruses - so enabling them to be used as vaccine vectors that can deliver genetic materials efficiently into cells. (Traditional vaccines tended to use inactivated or attenuated forms of virus.)
Adenovirus was originally used as a vector for gene therapy, but has been used increasingly as a vaccine vector in recent years as safety and immunogenicity has increased. Adenovirus-based vaccines are now used against malaria, Ebola, meningitis and HIV, diseases which affect over 100 million people globally every year. Adenovirus-based cancer vaccines are also in the development phase.
Subunit vaccine (adjuvanted) platform
Ziccum has an ongoing collaboration with a Nordic research institute in the field of protein-based adjuvant vaccines. We are researching the potential of LaminarPace to dry and improve the thermostability of new particulate adjuvants being used in clinical trials for new vaccine candidates. Protein-based adjuvant vaccines can minimize the risk of side effects and produce a highly stable vaccine by using a protein antigen, or fragments of the pathogen’s protein, to provoke an immune response.
Protein-based adjuvant vaccines use a protein antigen, or fragments of the pathogen’s protein, to provoke an immune response, instead of using the whole pathogen. Restricting the immune system’s access to the whole pathogen minimizes the risk of side effects and produces a highly stable vaccine. The platform is being used in several Covid-19 vaccine candidates and has been developed to treat diseases from diphtheria to tetanus over recent decades.
From adjuvant to antigen
Ziccum’s SSI collaboration aims to demonstrate the potential of LaminarPace to dry and improve the thermostability of new particulate adjuvant technologies being used in clinical trials for subunit-based vaccines, using recombinant fusion antigens. In the previous stage of the collaboration, LaminarPace dried a key adjuvant in the project.
Subunit adjuvant vaccines are being developed intensively in the pharmaceutical industry currently. Ziccum’s exploration of novel formulations can be key to establishing new materials and intellectual property in the field.