iBio, Inc. a biologics contract manufacturing organization and a biotechnology innovator recently announced the initiation of preclinical immunization studies for their second vaccine platform against COVID-19.
The new vaccine “IBIO-201” merges antigens from the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with their patented lichenase booster molecule “LicKM” that is designed to optimize immune response. The addition of the LicKM booster to the subunit antigen will improve the probability of achieving single dose immunity while also amplifying manufacturing capacity via the increased potency.
Tom Isett, CEO and Co-Chairman of iBio said “the launch of their second vaccine platform against COVID-19 is representative of the speed, scalability and flexibility that they can accomplish by merging their plant-based FastPharming System with other technologies such as LicKM”. He added that as a company with purpose built pandemic response abilities, they are very pleased that in a few weeks they have discovered and advanced two promising, internally-developed COVID-19 vaccine platform into IND-enabling studies. What is also important to mention is that iBio’s plant-based system steers clear from exhaustive scale-up challenges that are associated with the traditional manufacturing processes, this allows them to more rapidly produce high grade quality material for millions of doses upon regulatory clearance.
After performing extensive research, iBio firmly believes that the lichenase thermostable immunomodulator protein technology has the ability to increase both the durability of the immune response as well as the potency of subunit vaccines. Previously published peer-reviewed laboratory data shows that an iBio lichenase-based vaccine candidate offered full protection against aerosolized pneumonic plague in primates. Furthermore, published data has demonstrated the value of the lichenase technology in vaccine candidate applications that target both anthrax and the yellow fever virus.
Dr. Sylvian Marcel, iBio’s VP of Protein Expression Sciences commented that one of the most common challenges with soluble antigens is they require the integration of an adjuvant to boost their immunogenicity. Dr. Sylvian added that their LicKM technology has the potential of achieving the same immune responses as a soluble antigen vaccine approach, but with lower vaccine antigen requirements. This is very valuable in deducing the number of vaccine doses required to establish prolonged immunity.