Australian vaccine development company BioDiem Ltd (BDM) announced that it has acquired Savine Therapeutics Pty Ltd. Savine was incorporated in 2007 to commercialise intellectual property acquired from the Australian National University. Savine’s key asset is the patented Scrambled Antigen Vaccine technology. This platform technology can be used to design antigens that are able to be incorporated into vaccines for different diseases. In addition, as part of the transaction, BioDiem will now own the software used to design such antigens together with a number of SAVINE-manufactured genes, or SAVINEs, that are suitable for vaccines against nasopharyngeal carcinoma (an Epstein Barr virus- related cancer which is prevalent SE Asian cancer), tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis C.
SAVINE antigens are encoded as synthetic genes which, together with a delivery technology such as BioDiem’s LAIV-based vaccine vector technology, can be used to design novel vaccines. The SAVINE technology has a number of significant potential advantages compared to alternative disease protein delivery strategies. It can incorporate more than one target disease protein (antigen), which may improve disease protection. The scrambling process is designed to enhance safety by removing the dangerous functions of the selected proteins, for example, cancer-associated proteins. By incorporating as much immunologically-relevant information as possible this enhances the ability of the designed SAVINE to provide broader population coverage.
BioDiem’s CEO Julie Phillips commented “We are delighted to complete this transaction as Savine’s technology is highly complementary to our own. In our vaccine business the key elements are a virus, a cell line (to grow the virus), and antigens (disease proteins). BioDiem now has all of these components through the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus, the mammalian cell line recently licenced and now the acquisition of the SAVINE antigen technology. The SAVINE technology will be valuable to our LAIV vector project as it will allow us to expand the number of diseases that can be targeted. In addition, BioDiem will be able to separately licence out the SAVINE technology in specific disease areas.”
BioDiem is an ASX-listed company, based in Melbourne, with an international focus on finding, adding value to and commercialising world-class research and technology for vaccines. The company uses a cost-efficient approach to development through collaborations with academic centres of excellence, contract research organizations and partnerships with international pharmaceutical companies. BioDiem’s lead technology is the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV) technology, which has been developed as an intranasal vaccine to prevent infection from seasonal and pandemic influenza.