To help address the growing costs and long development timelines facing vaccine manufacturers, Lonza is announcing the launch of the Vaccine Design and Development Services Platform. This platform includes in-silico and in-vitro tools to accelerate the design and assessment of vaccine candidates for their ability to provoke an effective immune response. Allowing companies to focus on the most promising vaccine candidates early in the process can help reduce time and costs, maximising R&D resources.
Lonza is positioned to offer customers these services that include its Epibase in-silico (IS) and in-vitro (IV) tools for immunogenicity assessment. Epibase IS is a predictive tool driven by structural bioinformatics in conjunction with experimental data. It can predict potential peptide/HLA binding, which can be used to rationally design an efficacious vaccine. Recent enhancements enable extensive prediction of both HLA Class I CD8+ and Class II CD4+ T cell epitopes, strengthening the ability of Epibase IS to support lead vaccine candidate selection and optimisation.
The Epibase IV screening services include a wide range of assays designed to assess immune responses raised by vaccine candidates. High-quality peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from human donors are used allowing for the comparison and ranking of candidates in healthy and/or specific diseased populations. A wide variety of antigens, including whole proteins, protein complexes, peptides, viruses, virus like particles (VLPs), virosomes and adjuvants can be tested with the Epibase IV tools.
As in-vitro testing requires milligram quantities of vaccine candidates, Lonza offers the Light Path Custom Material Supply Service for small-scale production of proteins. This is a streamlined process that can provide sufficient product for in-vitro assessment of vaccine immunogenicity. It includes access to the company’s mammalian and microbial expression systems, which can lead to a seamless transition into larger-scale cGMP manufacturing for later development stages.