|Berlin, December 4th 2002
Successful Vaccination against Parasitic Disease with MIDGE
On December 13, 2002, the renowned journal "Vaccine" is going to publish the results of a study conducted by Mologen in cooperation with the National Center for Biotechnology in Madrid titled "DNA vaccination with linear minimalistic (MIDGE) vectors confers protection against Leishmania major infection in mice". The study examined the efficacy of Mologen's MIDGE vectors in vaccinations against infections with the Leishmania parasite.
The results show that the MIDGE vaccines are equal or better than the best vaccination regime available so far.
The most successful experimental vaccination regime against leishmania infection consists of subsequent immunizations with plasmid-DNA and recombinant poxviruses. Mologen's technology is not only superior from a medical point of view but also for economic and safety reasons. The MIDGE-based vaccine would only require the production of one single vaccine, which additionally has a significantly better safety profile compared to both plasmids as well as recombinant poxviruses.
Mologen is planning the further development of the published results into a vaccine for dogs and in the medium term also for humans. The turnover potential of an effective and approved vaccine in the field of human medicine is estimated at 200 million Euro p.a. At present, the disease is treated with drugs against fungal infections; however, an approved prophylactic vaccine does not exist, neither for pets nor for humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) has a substantial interest in a protective vaccine against Leishmaniasis.
Leishmaniasis is a potentially lethal infectious disease transmitted by the sandfly and triggered by parasites of the genus Leishmania. The main victims are human beings and dogs. Leishmaniasis occurs mainly in tropical regions. According to data from the WHO, 350 million people are threatened by Leishmaniasis worldwide and 12 million are infected. According to WHO estimates , 2 million new infections occur each year. The infestation of the bowels with Leishmania, visceral Leishmaniasis, increasingly occurs in connection with HIV infections. In southern Europe, this already concerns 25% - 70% of the cases of visceral Leishmaniasis.
Mologen went public in 1998 as one of the first biotechnology companies in Germany. The shares of Mologen are being traded in the Regulated Market on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Mologen has set a goal for itself of making MIDGE the market-dominating format for prophylactic (preventative) and therapeutic (healing) DNA medication for household pets, economically-useful animals and people within the next four years.
contact: Matthias Reichel, phone: +49-30-857 576 0, Fax: +49-30-857 576 50, e-mail: [email protected]