HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CytoGenix (OTCBB:CYGX) has demonstrated that a synDNA™ vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has activity in monkeys. The study, conducted by Drs. Yin Chen and Frédéric Kendirgi at CytoGenix in collaboration with Lauren Hirao and Dr. David Weiner of the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrated that rhesus monkeys injected with a synDNA™ HIV vaccine mounted a significant cellular immune response. The study involved monkeys treated with a synDNA™ vaccine targeting two key viral proteins (gag and env) with interleukin-15 as an adjuvant.
"This observation, the first evidence of activity for a synDNA™ vaccine in non-human primates, is encouraging in that it shows that the synDNA™ vaccine is as effective as the DNA plasmid-based vaccine expressing the same antigen. The advantages of using DNA vaccines can be significantly extended using synDNA™ constructs and warrants further study to determine if the response is sufficient to protect against HIV infection,” stated David B. Weiner, Ph.D., an expert in DNA vaccination and a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
The World Health Organization has estimated that nearly 40 million people worldwide are HIV positive with over one half of those infected residing in sub-Saharan Africa. The incidence of newly diagnosed infections has skyrocketed in parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia with infection rates increasing by more than 50% in some regions since 2004. In the United States, approximately 1.2 million people were reported to be infected with HIV in 2005 and only seven other countries in the world have a higher number of affected citizens.
“Demonstration of the bioactivity of a synDNA™ vaccine for HIV in non-human primates is a tremendous step forward for CytoGenix,” commented Dr. Malcolm Skolnick, President & CEO of CytoGenix, Inc. “This experiment highlights the potential of the application of synDNA™ to the field of DNA vaccines as well as the use of DNA therapeutic drugs,” continued Dr. Skolnick.
Dr. Yin Chen, Chief Scientific Officer at CytoGenix, comments, “The use of enzymatically synthesized, bacteria free DNA to achieve significant biological activity is a significant advance for the field of vaccines and gene therapies. CytoGenix’s synDNA™ products present a number of advantages over DNA plasmids produced by bacterial fermentation. The synDNA™ constructs avoid the use of antibiotic resistance genes and other bacterial sequences, can be rapidly produced and are more cost effective to produce. These are major advantages in developing vaccines for a wide range of applications including pandemic and bioterror threats.”
About CytoGenix: CytoGenix, Inc. is a Houston-based biopharmaceutical company that develops and markets innovative products and services based on its proprietary ssDNA expression technology. The company has developed a breakthrough synthetic process for large-scale production of high purity DNA at fraction of the cost of traditional fermentation methods. CytoGenix currently has issued patents on its ssDNA expression technology in the US, China and nine European countries with over 41 additional international or US pending patent applications on variations of this and the synDNA™ technology.
Additional information about CytoGenix and its technology can be found on the website at www.cytogenix.com.
via Business Wire