AFFiRiS will explore ProBioGen’s Human Artificial Lymph Node Technology for Vaccine Testing

Vienna, Austria, and Berlin, Germany, 02 June 2010

AFFiRiS AG will explore ProBioGen’s proprietary Human Artificial Lymph Node Technology (HuALN) as analytical tool for its AFFITOME®-based vaccination concept. Under the contract with ProBioGen, AFFiRiS will evaluate the HuALN technology as a human organoid model to investigate drug-related effects in the context of the human immune system in order to select vaccine candidates best suited to be applied in humans. Using the HuALN technology AFFiRiS anticipates accelerating the progression of its human vaccine candidates into clinical trials.

“We have been looking for a system like the Human Artificial Lymph Node for quite a long time and are excited by the possibilities the system offers to test our peptide vaccine candidates which are delivered by our proprietary AFFITOME® technology”, commented Walter Schmidt, CEO of AFFiRiS.

“AFFiRiS with its cutting-edge technology in the vaccine field is an ideal partner to further underline the strengths of ProBioGen’s HuALN technology. We are very much looking forward to this co-operation” said Michael Schlenk, CEO of ProBioGen.

About the Human Artificial Lymph Node Technology

ProBioGen’s portfolio of cell-based activity assays for biopharmaceutical drug development includes its self-developed, proprietary and unique human in-vitro system, the Human Artificial Lymph Node (HuALN) model. In this sophisticated system, human T-cells, B-cells, and dendritic cells of selected donors are cultivated in the 3D-matrix of a miniaturized bioreactor, leading to the cells’ self-organization into immune-competent micro-organoid structures. The constantly perfused and fully autologous co-culture system enables long-term cell cultivation and repeated exposition of the cells to the to-be-tested substances. The use of this unique tool is to predict drug-related effects (wanted or unwanted) on the human immune system in vitro, to investigate immunofunction and immunotoxicity of substances, e.g. to bridge the gap between pre-clinical animal studies and first-in-man clinical trials.

HuALN read-outs include soluble as well as cellular biomarkers, notably monitoring the induced cytokine secretion profiles to characterize T-cell-mediated immune responses (e.g. shifts in the TH1/TH2 pathways) and antibodies secretion patterns (IgM, IgG). Harvesting the cells after bioreactor operation allows their functional testing and analysis of surface markers by flow cytometry. Together with plasma cell analysis (by ELISPOT, flow cytometry, and organoid-histology) humoral and cellular immune responses can be determined. For literature see e.g. Giese et al., J Biotechnol., 2010 “Immunological substance testing on human lymphatic micro-organoids in vitro”.


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