Japanese Agency Supports Daiichi Sankyo’s Genetic Vaccine Platform

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Through the support of the Japanese agency, Daiichi Sankyo intends to further develop its genetic vaccine platform focused around its new nucleic acid delivery technology.

Daiichi Sankyo announced on Oct. 12, 2017 that the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) will support the development of the company’s genetic vaccine platform, which uses in-house developed nucleic acid delivery technology, through the agency’s Cyclic Innovation for Clinical Empowerment (CiCLE) program. The company also announced that a R&D collaboration involving industry, government, and academia was started on Oct. 12, 2017 for developing this vaccine technology.

The new drug delivery technology for nucleic acids encoding protective antigens allows for in vivo expression of corresponding proteins in target tissues, facilitating antigen presentation that is required for the induction of optimal quantitative and qualitative levels of antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). CTL are T cells that have been differentiated and activated through the recognition of antigens presented by antigen-presenting cells. They can directly recognize host cells latently or can recognize cells chronically infected with intracellular parasite pathogens and cancer cells and eliminate them. In addition to prophylactic effects, the company expects to achieve therapeutic effects on infections and cancer.

The nucleic acid delivery technology discovered by Daiichi Sankyo uses multiple lipid components that impart a stable nanoparticle structure. The technology enables nucleic acid delivery into secondary lymphoid organs and is expected to have low toxicity due to low levels of intracellular accumulation after delivery is completed. The company expects further development in the future with the support of the CiCLE program and through the industry-government-academia coordination between itself, AMED, and National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation Health and Nutrition (NIBIOHN). The company anticipates a greater commitment to R&D for the early development of vaccines targeting viral diseases discovered in joint research with NIBIOHN.

The CiCLE program, which AMED inaugurated in fiscal 2017, is intended to bring together Japanese expertise in industry, government, and academia to accelerate the practical application of medications, medical devices, and medical technologies. The program caters to a variety of projects ranging from basic research to the development stage with a view to practical application, including clinical studies. Projects are not limited to specific areas.


Source: Daiichi Sankyo