Vaccines, Blood & Biologics

Proof-of-concept Dual Vaccine against both Smallpox and Anthrax

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research developed an anthrax challenge model that was used to characterize a novel prototype dual vaccine against smallpox and anthrax developed by investigators at the National Cancer Institute. This vaccine incorporates the genes for two proteins, IL-15 and anthrax protective antigen (PA), into an existing smallpox vaccine virus. One protein (IL-15) enhances the vaccine’s anti-smallpox potency; the other protein (PA) stimulates immune responses to anthrax.  This low-cost, reliable challenge model will facilitate proof-of-concept evaluations of other candidate anthrax vaccines and therapeutics.

The currently licensed smallpox vaccine, Acam2000® is highly effective; however, it is associated with serious complications, such as those affecting the heart, brain, and skin, and is not recommended for use in certain groups, such as those with severe immune deficiency. This was also true of the previously licensed smallpox vaccine, Dryvax®.

(ACAM2000, (Smallpox (Vaccinia) Vaccine, Live). The currently licensed anthrax vaccine must be administered multiple times over a long period in order to provide protection (BIOTHRAX (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed).

"Development of a highly efficacious vaccinia-based dual vaccine against smallpox and anthrax, two important bioterror entities"
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Oct. 19, 2010; 107(42):18091-18096
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1013083107

Authors:

Tod J. Merkel, Vanessa K. Kelly, Anita Verma (Food and Drug Administration,
Bethesda, MD)
Pin-Yu Perera (Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC)
Zara N. Llewellyn  (Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, AL)
Thomas A. Waldman, Liyanage P. Perera (National Cancer Institute, National   
Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD)
Joseph D. Mosca  (JDM Technologies, Ellicott City, MD)

Page Last Updated: 12/30/2010
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