Pfenex reports that Leidos Holdings (formerly SAIC) a provider of scientific engineering systems integrations on technical services, has awarded Pfenex a subcontract to develop a robust, scalable, cGMP-ready production process for large-scale production of the blood-stage malaria antigen Plasmodium falciparum reticulocyte-binding homolog 5 (Rh5). This contract is a result of successful preclinical studies performed by Leidos collaborators to evaluate the Rh5 antigen that was produced using the Pfēnex Expression Technology platform. The subcontract is funded with federal funds from Leidos’ prime Malaria Vaccine Production and Support Services contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
This is the second subcontract awarded to Pfenex for the development of hard-to-express malaria antigens. Leidos had previously awarded Pfenex a subcontract to develop a scalable, cGMP-ready production process for large-scale production of full-length circumsporozoite protein from P. falciparum. Pfenex will commence process development activities while continuing to provide materials to Leidos and NIAID for ongoing preclinical studies.