MBFT, Smithfield to collaborate on swine vaccine development

Collaboration seeks to develop effective gene-based, T-cell directed vaccines for economically significant swine diseases.

January 13, 2020

2 Min Read
MBFT, Smithfield to collaborate on swine vaccine development

MBF Therapeutics Inc. (MBFT), a developer of DNA-based immunotherapeutic checkpoint inhibitor vaccines for the animal health market, announced Jan. 10 that it has signed an agreement with Smithfield Foods Inc. to collaborate on the design and development of swine vaccines based on MBFT's proprietary vaccine platform and delivery system technology.

According to MBFT, its "gene-based, T-cell directed vaccine platform and novel calcium phosphate delivery system (i.e., a nonviral adjuvant) will be used to create more effective swine vaccines that produce a robust and durable immune response. By eliciting responses in both T-cells and B-cells, these new and more effective swine vaccines will have the potential to reduce the use of antibiotics, chronic disease and endemic viral reservoirs in pork production."

MBFT chief executive officer Thomas Tillett said the development of a more effective vaccine for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) using MBFT’s calcium phosphate nanoparticle delivery will be the first phase of the collaborative project between MBFT and Smithfield.

Although several inactivated, attenuated vaccines for PRRS are on the market, all of them underperform, MBFT said in its announcement.

The second phase of the collaborative project will address the long-term need for better protective immunity to economically significant porcine viral infections through the development of next-generation DNA vaccines, MBFT said.

“Whether it is taking PRRS protection to the next level, addressing the need for a cross-protective swine influenza vaccine or applying a gene-based immunomodulator approach to solving the urgent need for a safe, cross-protective and durable African swine fever vaccine, MBFT technology offers an innovative approach to vaccine design that is well suited for use in livestock,” Tillett said.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Smithfield on designing and developing new vaccines for infectious swine diseases,” Tillett added. “This collaboration will enable MBF Therapeutics to move research forward with our innovative gene-based, T-cell directed vaccine platform technology, which has great potential for transforming infectious disease protection.”

MBFT is a clinical-stage animal health company developing and commercializing proprietary checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy technology for cancer and infectious diseases. T-cell activation precisely targets selected antigens associated with cancer cells or infectious pathogens while preventing T-cell exhaustion, thus yielding a durable cell-mediated immunity, the company explained.

Exclusively licensed from the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, Pa., and combined with a proprietary nonviral delivery system, this is a platform technology from which multiple innovative products can be developed for veterinary use where cellular antigens are well defined.

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