PROVIDENCE, RI, September 29, 2021 — EpiVax, Inc. (“EpiVax”) announces the publication of three papers focusing on Malaria vaccine efficacy, part of an on-going collaboration with Leidos Life Sciences, The University of Georgia Center for Vaccines and Immunology, the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, and Sanofi Pasteur’s VaxDesign Campus.
“Identification, Selection and Immune Assessment of Liver Stage CD8 T Cell Epitopes From Plasmodium falciparum“ in Frontiers of Immunology. May 2021.
This study validated novel antigens and identified novel functional HLA Class I T cell epitopes in liver and blood stages of malaria. These new epitopes have potential for inclusion in future, more effective, vaccine designs.
“Bridging Computational Vaccinology and Vaccine Development Through Systematic Identification, Characterization, and Downselection of Conserved and Variable Circumsporozoite Protein CD4 T Cell Epitopes From Diverse Plasmodium falciparum Strains“ in Frontiers of Immunology. June 2021.
Current Malaria vaccines have varying effectiveness across Plasmodium falciparum variants. EpiVax developed an in silico model to identify HLA-restricted Class II epitopes in PfCSP (Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein), the main target of vaccine developers. The team identified novel epitopes and epitope clusters that could be used in future PfCSP vaccine designs to achieve broader effectiveness across malarial strains.
“Identification and Immune Assessment of T Cell Epitopes in Five Plasmodium falciparum Blood Stage Antigens to Facilitate Vaccine Candidate Selection and Optimization“ in Frontiers of Immunology. July 2021.
In this study, EpiVax was tapped by Leidos to conduct in silico T cell epitope prediction, for both HLA Class I and Class II epitopes in Malaria vaccine blood stage antigens. The in silico predictions were subsequently used to inform ex vivo assessment by University of Oxford scientists, who confirmed the EpiVax in silico binding predictions.
EpiVax leveraged several different in silico tools across this project. iVAX, the flagship vaccine design platform analyzes conserved target protein sequences for binding affinity to Class I or Class II HLA alleles. JanusMatrix is a proprietary algorithm useful for assessing homology or “humanness” of vaccine antigens, a possible sign of an un-wanted immunosuppressive response. The most recent paper specifically made use of iTEM (individualized T cell epitope measure) which allows researchers to focus on individual donor-specific HLA alleles, to hone in personalized responses to vaccine epitopes. The closely related J-iTEM (JanusMatrix adjusted-iTEM) takes individualized T cell epitope scores a step further by accounting for “humanness” or cross-conservation with the human proteome.
EpiVax is a biotechnology company with expertise in T cell epitope prediction, immune modulation, and rapid vaccine design. EpiVax’s immunogenicity screening toolkits for therapeutics and vaccines, ISPRI and iVAX, are employed in advancing the research of a global roster of companies.
For more information about EpiVax, visit www.epivax.com.
Katie Porter, Business Development Manager
Source: EpiVax, Inc.