Creating a New Class of Vaccines

Genocea LogoVaccines are among the most cost-effective and successful health interventions ever developed, saving millions of lives each year. However, traditional vaccines are designed to target pathogens that live in the bloodstream. Many infectious diseases, such as herpes, chlamydia and malaria, live inside the body’s cells, leaving these serious illnesses literally beyond the reach of available technology—until now.

Genocea Biosciences, an FKH client,  is working to develop the first vaccine that will trigger the body to destroy its own infected cells –something that has never before been possible, due to the volume of potential pathogen T cell targets. Using ATLAS, their proprietary antigen lead acquisition system, Genocea can rapidly identify and narrow down the pool of candidate antigens to form vaccines from thousands to just a handful.

Genocea is currently nearing the completion of a Phase 1/2a clinical trial of its herpes program, which used ATLAS to identify viral proteins that provoked a protective T cell immune response. If the study is successful across all of its endpoints, the vaccine would move into a phase 3 trial by 2016 and pave the way for a new class of vaccines.

Chip Clark and Darren Higgins, Ph.D., Genocea’s CEO and scientific founder, recently described the company’s approach to vaccine development with Polaris Partners. Read the full story here: