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Immunisation - Articles and news items

MenW vaccination

Independent UK vaccination committee advises immunisation programme for Meningococcal W (MenW) disease

Industry news / 19 March 2015 / Victoria White

The JCVI has advised that immunisation should be offered to 14 -18 year-olds to prevent the transmission of meningococcal group W (MenW) disease…

Figure 2: The number of targets addressed for a specific cancer patient. There are 90 currently approved anti-neoplastic drugs, including 9 biologicals2; a patient often receives a chemotherapy regimen comprising three to six chemotherapy agents and a targeted monoclonal antibody (left). A tumour has ~50 immunogenic antigens from protein-changing cancer mutations18,19 and 20-150 gene isoforms with tumour-enhanced expression that, assuming at least one immunogenic epitope per gene, suggests ~50 addressable expression and differentiation antigens (right)

The T cell druggable genome

Genomics, Issue 4 2012 / 3 September 2012 / Jan Diekmann, Martin Löwer, John C. Castle, Sebastian Kreiter, Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin, Translational Oncology, Johannes Gutenberg Medical University of Mainz

The ‘druggable genome’ has been defined as those genes that can be pharmaceutically modulated; when intersected with disease-associated genes, the resultant set represents therapeutic targets for developing drugs to prevent and treat diseases. Historically, druggable therapeutic target genes have been defined by two features; (i) their significant contribution to the disease phenotype in a sufficient number of affected individuals and (ii) modulation of their activity by binding of a drug molecule.

The emerging era of cancer immunotherapy is dramatically changing the target landscape towards molecules that can be recognised by antibodies and T cells, thereby inducing redirection of immune effector mechanisms against target-bearing tumour cells. Despite the fact that the target space for immunotherapy is broad, few genes have been clinically evaluated as cancer immunotherapy targets. We have recently shown that patient and tumourspecific somatic mutations identified by next-generation sequencing of cancer genomes can be systematically targeted by cancer vaccines. In combination with a versatile immunotherapy platform for on-demand production of tailored vaccines, this, for the first time, opens the door to an entirely new source of druggable therapeutic targets – the abundant space of individual cancer mutations.

Development of stabilised vaccines with needle-free devices for targeted skin immunisation

Issue 6 2010, Vaccine Development / 16 December 2010 / Abina M. Crean & Anne C. Moore, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork and Conor O’Mahony, Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork

Vaccination represents the primary public health measure to combat infectious diseases. However, limitations of cold-chain storage, vaccine wastage, hazardous sharps-waste and the requirements for trained personnel add significant and unsustainable financial and logistic costs to immunisation programmes. Developments of needle-free methods should aim to overcome these logistics issues from the very start of the vaccine production process. Dermal vaccine administration using microneedle-based devices promises to be one such needle-free method that addresses all of these issues. Methods of stabilisation of vaccines onto or incorporated into microneedles should be developed to permit seamless transition and cost-effectiveness from vaccine bulk-up to final product. This review examines recent developments in microneedle technology and highlights the current challenges to translate this technology into practice.

 

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