Magazine 3/2015

Sweet Vaccines on Track for Application

Start-up is set to make research results ready for market
Protective jabs: Sugar not only makesinoculations sweet – some vaccines owe theireffect to so-called polysaccharides. Zoom Image
Protective jabs: Sugar not only makes
inoculations sweet – some vaccines owe their
effect to so-called polysaccharides.

Vaxxilon is the name of the new enterprise founded by the Max Planck Society together with the Swiss pharmaceutical company Actelion. It will carry out research into, develop and market vaccines based on glycans – natural polysaccharides that play an important role in many cellular processes. Such glycans for vaccines were previously produced from cultured bacteria – a process that complicates production and often makes it unfeasible.

The team headed by Peter Seeberger, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, has established the scientific foundation for the manufacture of glycans on a completely synthetic basis. This enables the production of new vaccines, including against bacteria, that cannot be cultured or whose sugar cannot be isolated. Vaxxilon is seeking to exploit this potential. With a financing commitment of up to 30 million euros, Actelion is the main investor and principal shareholder in Vaxxilon. The first studies on humans involving the application of a new vaccine are scheduled to take place within the next three years.

For an interview on the topic, visit: www.mpg.de/9317940/interview-erseliusvaxxilon

 
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