TORONTO -- Generex Biotechnology
Corporation announces that it has entered into a
collaboration with Dr. Bing Sun of the Chinese Academy of Science (IBC) in
Shanghai to develop a SARS vaccine.
Sun has done pioneering work isolating SARS genes which can be used in a DNA vaccine. Antigen Express, Generex's subsidiary, has developed proprietary and patented technologies to enhance the potency of DNA vaccines. Together they seek to create an effective DNA vaccine for protection against SARS infections.
Antigen Express' technology focuses on modulating immune responses
mediated by T helper cells, a class of lymphocytes that plays many roles in
the immune system, both enhancing and suppressing immune responses. T helper
cells are essential for obtaining both robust and long lasting responses
against infections, cancer and against specific antigens which are encoded in
"The heart of the Antigen Express technology platform is controlling
antigen presentation by MHC class II molecules to elicit better T helper cell
activation," explained Dr. Robert Humphreys, founder of Antigen Express. "In
the case of DNA vaccines, the Antigen Express component used with the DNA
vaccine inhibits expression of the MHC class II-associated invariant chain (Ii
protein). This protein normally prevents MHC class II molecules from
presenting intracellularly synthesized antigens, such as those encoded in DNA
vaccines, in a manner that adequately stimulates T helper cells."
The SARS genes to be used in the DNA vaccine will be supplied by Dr. Sun.
His leading studies have helped to characterize the best SARS genes to use for
stimulation of an immune response.
Antigen Express has received several SBIR grants from the National
Institutes for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Cancer
Institute, to apply this technology in DNA vaccine projects for cancer and
"We are pleased to be initiating serious efforts in SARS vaccine
development using the proprietary technologies pioneered at Antigen Express,"
said Anna Gluskin, CEO of Generex. "The SARS virus is still a problem in the
world today and therefore an important indication for demonstrating the
potential of T helper stimulating technologies."
Generex is engaged in the research and development of drug delivery
systems and technology. To date, it has focused on developing a platform
technology for the buccal delivery -- delivery to the oral cavity for
absorption through the inner mouth mucosa -- of drugs that historically have
been administered only by injection. Generex's buccal delivery technology has
application to a large number of drugs. Generex acquired Antigen Express in
August. 2003. The core platform technologies of Antigen Express comprise
immunotherapeutics for the treatment of malignant, infectious, allergic, and
Source: Generex Biotechnology Corporation