To successfully prevent infection a vaccine must induce an immune response which in most cases is better than that invoked by natural infection. This has proved difficult to achieve with S. aureus and the possible reasons are because it is a commensal organism with extraordinary diversity and redundancy of immune evasion mechanisms. Absynth’s distinctive approach to address these issues involves:
- Identifying and using multiple bacterial protein antigens that are essential to the organism and have an additive or synergistic effect when used in combination; and
- Also have highly conserved sequences, providing broad strain coverage as well as being the basis for a vaccine platform comprised of homologous antigens in different pathogens; and
- Potential to stimulate the human immune system by (i) direct antibody-mediated inhibition of bacterial growth (ii) antibody-mediated engagement of the immune system to enhance elimination of the bacteria and (iii) harnessing a cellular immune response.
The healthcare problem addressed by Absynth is life-threatening infections by bacteria such as S. aureus (MRSA) and C. difficile for which there are currently no marketed vaccines. These infections occur in hospital patients but are now emerging in the community. Antibiotics currently are used to treat such infections but resistance to antibiotics is occurring at an alarming rate.
By preventing infections vaccines reduce both mortality and antibiotic use, addressing the problem of anti-microbial resistance. Prophylactic vaccines have not been shown to induce resistance. Vaccines comprise sub-units of bacteria (antigens) to stimulate an immune response without infection. Absynth antigens are novel and selected for specific properties to give an effective immune reponse.