Vaccine to Treat Gum Disease on The Way

By: CSL Limited, AU  |  General News, General News (Pros)
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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

CSL Limited, Australia's leading biopharmaceutical company, has today announced that a vaccine to treat severe gum disease is being developed in a new collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, the world's leading global manufacturer of vaccines.

Gum disease with bone loss

Gum disease with bone loss

CSL has signed an agreement with Sanofi Pasteur to fund a program in the CRC for the further development of a vaccine to prevent and treat the severe gum disease peridontitis.

Up to 30% of Australian adults suffer from the ide-spread gum disease, which causes gums to bleed and teeth to fall out. The condition has also been linked with heart disease, stroke, adverse pregnancy outcomes, dementia and cancer.

Following more than ten years of research, scientists from The University of Melbourne and CSL, in the Cooperative Research Centre for Oral Health Science have identified candidate vaccine antigens for periodontitis.

"Periodontitis is a serious disease and dentists face a major challenge in treating it, because most people will not know they have the disease until it's too late and the infection has progressed to advanced stages" said Professor Eric Reynolds, AO, CEO of the CRC for Oral Health Science and the Head of The University of Melbourne's Dental School.

"Traditional treatment for the disease often involves scaling and cleaning, and even surgery in an effort to contain the bacterial infection." He said.

This new vaccine approach targets the "ring leader" of a group of pathogenic bacteria that cause periodontitis, the bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis.

"We are very excited about this novel approach to the disease, "said Professor Reynolds. "It will provide dentists and patients with a specific treatment, which prevents disease progression, rather than managing its symptoms and damaging consequences."

It has taken over ten years to develop the vaccine to this stage," said Dr Andrew Cuthbertson, CSL's Chief Scientific Officer. "CSL is pleased to advise of an agreement with Sanofi Pasteur to undertake a funded program to develop a vaccine for the treatment of periodontal disease caused by Porphyromonas gingivalis."

The vaccine development program involves identifying the bacterial peptides and proteins that trigger the immune response, and using these as the basis of vaccines. The vaccines are being trialled in mouse models of periodontal disease and following a positive response, a vaccine will progress to clinical trials.

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