Pevion Biotech AG today announced the launch of a new program called Defensomes, a platform for broad spectrum immune enhancement via mechanisms of innate immunity. The proprietary technology is derived from a vaccine platform with a solid safety track record comprising more than 80 million doses applied to humans to date. Defensomes offer opportunities for a wide range of prophylactic and therapeutic indications, where boosting of the body's own natural defense is beneficial.
"Ways of stimulating the body's own natural defense in a broad manner is not new," says Pevion CEO Evert Kueppers, "however, you need to have a technology capable of doing it in a smart and gentle way. More importantly, you need the safety on your side. That's why Defensomes are particularly well suited for this task."
Defensomes are influenza virus-like particles (VLP) that are produced by a commercially validated in vitro process. They act as a subtle activator of innate immunity. This is characterized by a protective effect within a few hours after application, as opposed to adaptive-immunity addressing vaccines, that need a few weeks to develop full protection. Triggering an innate response can be useful in providing immediate and broad protection in situations where people are at elevated risk of infection, either due to increased exposure or susceptibility, such as hospital admission, travel, or during the cold season. An innate response may also exert a helper function to an adaptive immune response induced by natural infection or vaccination. Here, Defensomes support and enhance long-term protection. Innate immunity only recently has become subject to more intense research, thereby providing the insights required for a solid pharmaceutical product development.
Defensomesare fully protected by two patent families, owned and controlled by Pevion, covering both process and field of application. Granting has occurred for Europe and Russia, while applications for other territories are pending.
"Defensomes are a prime example of research serendipity," comments Christian Moser, Head of Research at Pevion. "The Company develops specific vaccines based on its proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology called virosomes. Screening or preclinical experiments done over the years included negative control groups, namely the basic particles without any specific antigen(s) for the respective target indication. Once we noticed the Defensome effect in different bacterial and viral challenge models, and even in a tumor model, we successfully patented the application."