Researchers in Australia Collaborating to Develop Vaccine Candidates Against Biowarfare Threats

Researchers in Australia Collaborating to Develop Vaccine Candidates Against Biowarfare Threats

A team of researchers in Australia is working on advancing a biopolymer particle-based platform technology to develop vaccine candidates that can protect against biowarfare threats such as Q Fever, tularemia, and melioidosis. The project is a collaboration between Health Security Systems Australia (HSSA), Griffith University, the Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, the University of Western Australia, and CDMO BioCina.

The aim of the two-year funding is to establish Australia’s capability to rapidly develop and manufacture vaccines against biothreats and emerging infectious diseases on an industrial scale. Dr. Bernd Rehm, the director of the Center for Cell Factories and Biopolymers at Griffith University’s Institute for Drug Discovery, explained that the project was identified through a national call for collaborative proposals by HSSA. The funding support comes from Defense through the Next Generation Technologies Fund, with a focus on vaccine products and platform technologies for infectious disease threats.

The technology being developed at Griffith University involves using engineered bacterial cells to assemble biopolymer particles coated with an immunogenic antigen. This platform approach allows for the rapid design and manufacture of precision-engineered vaccine candidates effective against specific pathogens. The university spokesperson added that the technology overcomes critical bottlenecks related to speed of response, manufacturability, functionality, and stability.

Currently, there are no approved vaccines for melioidosis and tularemia, and only one approved vaccine for Q Fever. Dr. Rehm highlighted the importance of this project in addressing the need for protection against biowarfare threats and infectious diseases in Australia. The collaboration between experts involved in the project is expected to pave the way for the development and potential manufacture of an innovative vaccine candidate.

BioCina, a manufacturing partner for the project, expressed its honor in contributing to the goal of providing greater health protection in Australia. The collaboration aims to strengthen Australia’s sovereign capability in responding to biothreats and emerging infectious diseases.

– Health Security Systems Australia (HSSA)
– Griffith University
– Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory
– New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
– University of Western Australia
– CDMO BioCina

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