NEWARK, Del., March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- iBio, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IBIO) today announced notification from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that a new patent in the Company's iBioModulator™ portfolio will issue on March 26, 2013. The new patent, number 8,404,252 entitled " Yersinia pestis Antigens, Vaccine Compositions and Related Methods," includes claims covering plague antigens fused to the Company's thermostable immunomodulator -- iBioModulator ™-- protein, as well as vaccine compositions and a method for producing a protective immune response to the antigen. The invention was developed by scientists at the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FhCMB), iBio's research collaborator and is owned by iBio.
Plague is considered a potential bioterrorism weapon. There is no plague vaccine currently approved for use in the U.S. Although killed whole-cell plague vaccines have been reported to protect against bubonic plague in animal models, such vaccines were not effective against pneumonic plague. By contrast, data previously published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Vaccine, demonstrated that a recombinant plague vaccine incorporating the iBioModulator protein, and produced via the iBioLaunch™ platform in green plants, provided full protection of non-human primates against aerosolized Y. pestis (pneumonic plague).
An immunomodulator is a substance that alters the immune response. The iBioModulator platform has been shown in animal models to significantly modify the immune response to a vaccine in two important ways. It increased the strength of the initial immune response to a vaccine antigen (as measured by antibody titer). It also extended the duration of the immune response. These results demonstrate that the use of the iBioModulator platform may lower vaccine antigen requirements and enable fewer doses to establish prolonged immunity. The ability to improve immune response and provide longer-term protection without the necessity of booster inoculations would add significant value to a vaccine by reducing the overall costs and logistical difficulties of its use while effectively reaching a higher proportion of the target population.