Emergex's synthetic T-cell adaptive vaccines close in on data in dengue, COVID-19

Emergex Vaccines is closing in on the delivery of clinical data on its dengue vaccine. With the clinical trial holding its last participant last visit in March, the British biotech expects to report data over the summer.

The study represents a test of Emergex’s synthetic T-cell adaptive vaccine platform. Using the platform, Emergex is seeking to program immune cells to destroy pathogen-producing cells. The platform brings together a library of pathogen-derived peptides that are presented to CD8+ T cells and a nanoparticle carrier system for delivering synthetic peptides via microneedles. 

Working with the platform, Emergex has created a vaccine designed to drive the generation of virus-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes capable of killing infected cells before the virus replicates and releases its progeny. Emergex is testing the vaccine in 26 healthy volunteers. 

The study, which Emergex funded with cash raised in 2020, is testing the safety of two doses of the T-cell priming specific cocktail of dengue virus peptides. The vaccine is designed to cover the four serotypes of the dengue virus. Participants received two intradermal injections, spaced 21 days apart, of the high or low dose of the vaccine or placebo.

Emergex is working to deliver data from the trial while also gathering evidence on a COVID-19 candidate that it has given to 26 healthy volunteers in another phase 1 trial. The trials remain blinded, but Emergex is already looking forward to future phase 1/2 and 2/3 studies of the vaccines. Athanasios Papadopoulos, M.D., chief medical officer at Emergex, set out the progress to date.

“The 52 participants enrolled in the naNO-dengue and naNO-COVID phase I trials represent a significant milestone for the Company, and I remain optimistic for when the data from these studies is unblinded. Both of these vaccines are a direct result of Emergex’ work to advance its CD8+ T cell Adaptive Vaccine platform to address a diversity of viral and bacterial disease threats,” Papadopoulos said in a statement.