Syntello Inc. and the National Institute of Allergy andInfectious Diseases (NIAID) are jointly developing arecombinant chlamydia vaccine under a Cooperative Researchand Development Agreement (CRADA), Syntello announced.

The vaccine combines Syntello's cholera toxin-B (CTB) mucosalcarrier with synthetic chlamydia peptides developed by HarlanCaldwell, chief of NIAID's Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites.Larry Stambaugh, Syntello's chairman and chief executiveofficer, said the NIAID peptide has been shown to create anantibody response in animals, but to develop a human vaccineNIAID needed a way to carry the peptide into humans andcreate an antibody response at the site of infection.

The CTB mucosal carrier consists of the B subunit of the choleramolecule. Stambaugh said the B subunit binds to the mucosalsurface of the genital tract and creates an immune response atthe surface. Thus, the B subunit molecule acts as a naturaladjuvant in addition to serving as a carrier.

Syntello licensed the carrier from Jan Holmgren of theUniversity of Gothenburg, Sweden. Holmgren, Caldwell andresearchers at Syntello will conduct animal testing, which isexpected to begin shortly. Syntello will then have responsibilityfor developing the vaccine. There is currently no vaccine on themarket for a sexually transmitted disease (unless hepatitis B isregarded as an STD).

Syntello's CTB mucosal carrier is a major component of an oralcholera vaccine currently being tested by the World HealthOrganization. The vaccine is currently approved in Sweden.Syntello is also developing a prophylactic HIV vaccine thatconsists of the carrier and Syntello's own patented peptides.This vaccine is at the research phase.

Syntello was formed last July as a result of the acquisition oftechnology and biopharmaceutics from Syntello VaccineDevelopment AB. The scientists from this Swedish researchorganization now form Syntello's principal research team,although the company's R&D efforts are based in San Diego.

-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.