February 1, 2015
In North America and Europe approximately 940 million people are at risk of bioterrorism agents. According to the World Health Organization, its committee of experts’ estimates that an aircraft release of 50 kg of anthrax spores over an urban developed population of 5 million would result in about 250,000 deaths and an additional 125,000 would be severely incapacitated.
To protect major population centers, it will therefore be necessary to provide anthrax vaccines to a large segment of the population. In the US alone, billions of dollars have been budgeted for medical countermeasures to terrorism agents and to stockpile anthrax vaccines for a “three-city attack”. The problem with the presently available anthrax vaccine is its low immunogenicity. Several booster injections are required over a one-year period to establish immunity.
Greffex produced the anthrax vaccine GreANX based on its GreVAX Universal Platform. This anthrax vaccine has successfully undergone preclinical testing.
Another infectious agent with a bioterror threat potential similar to anthrax, is the plague. Greffex has been constructing the GrePla candidate vaccine as a single target vaccine that can be combined with GreANX for immunization. In parallel, Greffex has assembled GreVAX-based vaccine, GreAnPla, that carries antigens for anthrax and plaque on a single construct. This approach allows increased efficiency in manufacture and vaccination.