Aptamer partners with pharma company on vaccine development

The global pharmaceutical company will use Aptamer’s Optimer reagents to support the development of a vaccine candidate for neurodegenerative disease

Aptamer Group, a developer therapeutics and diagnostics, has secured a contract with a global pharmaceutical company to develop nucleic acid-based affinity reagents, called Optimers, to support the development of a vaccine candidate for neurodegenerative disease.

Aptamer will isolate reagents and incorporate them into an analytical assay with the aim of enabling the vaccine candidate currently in clinical trials to achieve regulatory compliance. The Optimers will be used to develop a potency assay for essential evaluation of the final vaccine. The reagents are hoped to help overcome cross-reactivity issues and allow detection and quantification of the active vaccine component within the vaccine additives.

The reagents can bind specifically to a target molecule and act as an antibody alternative. Their ability to fold into distinct secondary or tertiary structures is said to give them high target affinity and specific binding properties. They are emerging as alternatives to antibodies in a range of applications, the company claims.

Dr Arron Tolley, CEO of Aptamer Group, said: “I am delighted to have established this long-term partnership to further develop the potential of the Optimer platform in biomanufacturing processes that will potentially generate recurring revenues for over 10 years for Aptamer Group. We will be working closely with our partner to support the development and implementation of the Optimer assay to provide effective solutions for vaccine production.

“The increased interest in pursuing Optimer technology as a critical part of clinical programmes offers a strong endorsement of the technology. Optimer reagents are ideal affinity ligands for the detection and quantitation of biological products within complex mixtures, as they are highly specific and offer advantages in cost-effectiveness and consistency for use at scale.”

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