Developing a Shigella vaccine in solid dose formulation is a high-priority for the US army, Enesi Pharma said in a statement.
A Shigella infection, known as shigellosis, is an intestinal disease that results in diarrhoea, fever, and abdominal pain. Dysentery, though not exclusively caused by the Shigella bacteria, has long been an issue for combatants in war zones.
We were informed by a spokesperson of Enesi that the agreed partnership is not a licensing or commercialisation agreement and that any financial details will not be disclosed.
Instead, the partnership will see the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) “provide its Invaplex Shigella vaccine to Enesi, and Enesi will create a solid dose formulation for delivery with its ImplaVax needle-free injector technology.
“WRAIR will test the solid dose product for biochemical integrity and immunogenicity in Shigella disease models. Data from the collaboration will be shared between Enesi and WRAIR, and could, pending the outcome, form the foundation of future commercial opportunities.”
Solid dose forms of vaccinations hold advantages over standard intravenous vaccine delivery through enhanced immune responses and the ease of delivery, according to Enesi’s website.
One significant benefit is also the reduced need, or even elimination, of cold-chain requirements, as the doses are not temperature sensitive to the same degree as traditional liquid formulations – a major aim within vaccine development.
In terms of how the solid dose vaccines are produced, the spokesperson explained, “The vaccines are first supplied in either a liquid or powder form from their current primary manufacturing process and site of manufacture.
“This so-called ‘primary bulk’ is then formulated into the ImplaVax precision engineered solid doses which have a specific size, shape, and mechanical strength using a combination of proprietary formulation and manufacturing techniques. These can include both extrusion and/or tabletting.”
The agreement culminates a busy period for the Enesi, which confirmed on September 20, 2018, its move into its new headquarters in Milton Park, Oxford.