HJF enters cooperative agreement to develop vaccine for staph infections

December 17, 2008

ROCKVILLE, MD, (Dec. 17, 2008)--The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) and Maryland-based Nabi Biopharmaceuticals to develop a vaccine that could prevent life-threatening staph infections.

HJF researchers at USU's Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program will work with Nabi scientists to develop a licensed pentavalent Staphylococcus aureus vaccine to prevent skin and soft tissue infection.

The CRADA proposes a series of clinical trials for Nabi's PentaStaph™, a five-component vaccine that induces antibodies to target S. aureus capsular polysaccharides Types 5, 8 and the cell wall antigen Type 336, which enhances the immune system's ability to clear bacteria from the host.

PentaStaph also induces antibodies that target two of the most predominant and virulent toxins produced by the bacteria, Panton-Valentine Leukocidin--found predominantly in community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus--and alpha toxin, produced by almost all S. aureus isolates. Those toxins can significantly debilitate the human immune system.

The first clinical trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the compounds designed to target Panton-Valentine Leukocidin and alpha toxin. The second will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the other three components of the vaccine. The third trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of all five components.

"S. aureus infections adversely impact many active duty members and several phases of military operations, in addition to the well-being of U.S. citizens," said Dr. David Tribble, director of general infectious disease research at IDCRP. "We believe that investigating vaccine-based strategies is critical to prevent these common and serious infections both in military and civilian settings."
About The Henry M. Jackson Foundation

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving military medicine and public health. Providing support to scientists working in the military medical field has been HJF's mission for more than a quarter century. Authorized by Congress in 1983, the Foundation now provides services to about 1,000 programs at 90 locations throughout the world. The Foundation provides a critical support network for IDCRP in its mission to provide flexible and rapid responses to infectious disease threats around the world as they are identified.

About the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Science, located on the grounds of Bethesda's National Naval Medical Center and near the National Institutes of Health, is the nation's federal school of medicine and graduate school of nursing. The university educates health care professionals dedicated to career service in the Department of Defense and the U.S. Public Health Service.

About the Infections Disease Clinical Research Program

IDCRP is a collaborative research effort with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, USU and HJF. Established at USU in 2005, this program brings together a network of clinical scientists at military treatment facilities who are focused on conducting patient-based research on a wide range of infectious diseases relevant to the military and the broader medical communities. Current research focuses on multi-drug resistant bacterial infections, trauma-related infections, travel and tropical medicine, and HIV/AIDS.

About Nabi Biopharmaceuticals

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, headquartered in Rockville, Md., develops products that target serious medical conditions in the areas of nicotine addiction and gram-positive bacterial infections. The company is developing NicVAX® (nicotine conjugate vaccine), an innovative and proprietary investigational vaccine for treatment of nicotine addiction and prevention of smoking relapse, and PentaStaphTM (pentavalent S. aureus vaccine), a vaccine designed to protect against the most dangerous and prevalent strains of S. aureus bacterial infections.

Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

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