The Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc. (PREVENT), a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) headquartered at the University of Saskatchewan, signed an exclusive license with Folia Biotech in Quebec for the rights to use propriety PAL adjuvant technology in the development of a vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza. The PAL-FLU vaccine appears to generate a stronger immune response to influenza and to provide broader protection covering flu strains that are not contained in the annual seasonal tri-valent vaccine.
In addition, since PAL triggers a memory response, it can also enhance the period of protection. Seasonal influenza, a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and thus is a serious public health and economic problem. In developed countries, epidemics can result in high levels of worker absenteeism and productivity losses. Clinics and hospitals can be overwhelmed when large numbers of people appear for treatment during peak illness periods.
While most people recover from a bout of influenza, there are large numbers of people who need hospital treatment and many who die from the disease every year. The death rate for influenza in Canada is 500 to 1500 cases per year. “We are delighted to be entering into this collaboration with Folia Biotech to demonstrate the potential of their PAL adjuvant system to enhance immune responses against a seasonal influenza vaccine. The potential of this adjuvant to stimulate both arms of the immune system and to enhance protection against additional Influenza serotypes will be of considerable value to those receiving flu vaccines.
In addition, PAL has the potential to add value to a number of other vaccines”, said Dr. Andrew Potter, CEO of PREVENT. “We greatly value our partnership with PREVENT, which will support and facilitate the early-stage development of our novel adjuvant and give us access to a precious network of expertise”, said Jacques Bernier, CEO of Folia Biotech. “We look forward to a promising collaboration, as we believe this is the best way to accelerate clinical development of our innovative adjuvant”.
About Folia BIOTECH Folia Biotech is a Canadian biotechnology company founded by Dr. Denis Leclerc, a researcher at the Infectious Disease Research Centre in Quebec City. PAL technology, the product of Dr. Leclerc’s work, is based on the use of a plant virus recombinant protein (papaya mosaic virus) as an adjuvant in order to increase the immune response targeting the vaccine’s constituent antigen(s). PAL is also a versatile vaccination platform that enables the development of innovative vaccines for any infectious disease.
About PREVENT An incorporated not-for-profit organization, PREVENT is accelerating the development of promising early-stage vaccine candidates to address existing or potential human health issues. PREVENT’s founding members include: the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC-CDC), and the Canadian Center for Vaccinology (CCfV). By partnering with Canadian experts and shouldering the risk of early-stage vaccine development, PREVENT strengthens and advances Canada’s vaccine industry, promoting growth, investment and improved global competitiveness.