GlaxoSmithKline has secured rights to a technology, developed in partnership with US company Advaxis, could improve the effectiveness of vaccine-based treatments for cancer.
The UK-headquartered drug major has taken up certain rights to Listeriolysin O (LLO) protein, an essential haemolytic virulence factor that allows the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes to escape from the host cell vacuole and reach the cytosol. Bacteria that are unable to produce LLO remain trapped in the host vacuole and are several orders of magnitude less virulent than wild type bacteria in vivo.
Research done in the laboratory of Yvonne Paterson, the scientific founder of Advaxis, in collaboration with GSK, has shown that when a non-haemolytic truncated form of LLO is fused to an antigen it enhances immunogenicity. The joint invention was awarded a US patent (No 6,565,852) earlier this year.
Rixensart, Belgium-based GSK Biologicals, the division that develops GSK's vaccine products, will be involved in the further development of the adjuvant technology.