VisMederi srl

Siena, Italy

VisMederi srl

Siena, Italy
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.1.4-4 | Award Amount: 40.88M | Year: 2011

Vaccines so far have been developed mostly by following an empiric approach. To prevent and possibly cure unresolved and emerging infectious diseases we need to fully exploit the potential of the human immune system. Progress in science and technology makes it possible to achieve what was previously deemed impossible. The scope of this project is to produce knowledge necessary to develop novel and powerful immunization technologies for the next generation of human vaccines. This goal requires a multidisciplinary approach in which diverse but complementary scientific disciplines and technologies converge. Therefore some of the most competitive European research groups from public institutions and biotechs have agreed to join forces in ADITEC, together with top US groups on systems biology and adjuvants to support this enterprise. A systems biology approach will be used to study licensed and experimental vaccines in patient characterization studies and in clinical trials, to investigate the effect of adjuvants, vectors, formulations, delivery devices, routes of immunization, homologous and heterologous primeboost schedules, as well as the impact of host factors such as age, gender, genetics and pathologies. Animal models will be used to complement human studies, and to select novel immunization technologies to be advanced to the clinic. To address these issues in a coordinated manner, ADITEC is organised on a matrix structure in which research themes and experimental approaches feed into each other. Training curricula will be created to impact on the formation of the next generation of EU researchers in the field. ADITEC scientists and institutions are part of the Sclavo Vaccines Association (SVA), which is dedicated to vaccines and vaccine research. SVA, acting as the coordinating institution, guarantees the long-term commitment and sustainability of this initiative, beyond the duration of ADITEC itself.

Ahmed S.S.,Novartis | Volkmuth W.,Atreca Inc. | Duca J.,Novartis | Corti L.,Novartis | And 19 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2015

The sleep disorder narcolepsy is linked to the HLA-DQB1∗0602 haplotype and dysregulation of the hypocretin ligand-hypocretin receptor pathway. Narcolepsy was associated with Pandemrix vaccination (an adjuvanted, influenza pandemic vaccine) and also with infection by influenza virus during the 2009 A(H1N1) influenza pandemic. In contrast, very few cases were reported after Focetria vaccination (a differently manufactured adjuvanted influenza pandemic vaccine). We hypothesized that differences between these vaccines (which are derived from inactivated influenza viral proteins) explain the association of narcolepsy with Pandemrix-vaccinated subjects. A mimic peptide was identified from a surface-exposed region of influenza nucleoprotein A that shared protein residues in common with a fragment of the first extracellular domain of hypocretin receptor 2. A significant proportion of sera from HLA-DQB1∗0602 haplotype-positive narcoleptic Finnish patients with a history of Pandemrix vaccination (vaccine-associated narcolepsy) contained antibodies to hypocretin receptor 2 compared to sera from nonnarcoleptic individuals with either 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic influenza infection or history of Focetria vaccination. Antibodies from vaccine-associated narcolepsy sera cross-reacted with both influenza nucleoprotein and hypocretin receptor 2, which was demonstrated by competitive binding using 21-mer peptide (containing the identified nucleoprotein mimic) and 55-mer recombinant peptide (first extracellular domain of hypocretin receptor 2) on cell lines expressing human hypocretin receptor 2. Mass spectrometry indicated that relative to Pandemrix, Focetria contained 72.7% less influenza nucleoprotein. In accord, no durable antibody responses to nucleoprotein were detected in sera from Focetria-vaccinated nonnarcoleptic subjects. Thus, differences in vaccine nucleoprotein content and respective immune response may explain the narcolepsy association with Pandemrix. Copyright 2015 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Trombetta C.,University of Siena | Piccirella S.,VisMederi Srl | Perini D.,VisMederi Srl | Kistner O.,VisMederi Srl | And 2 more authors.
Vaccines | Year: 2014

In the last 20 years, novel non-seasonal influenza viruses have emerged, most of which have originated from birds. Despite their apparent inability to cause pandemics, with the exception of H1N1 swine influenza virus, these viruses still constitute a constant threat to public health. While general concern has decreased after the peak of the H5N1 virus, in recent years several novel reassorted influenza viruses (e.g., H7N9, H9N2, H10N8) have jumped the host-species barrier and are under surveillance by the scientific community and public health systems. It is still unclear whether these viruses can actually cause pandemics or just isolated episodes. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of old and novel potential pandemic strains of recent decades. © 2015 by the authors

Gianchecchi E.,Bambino Gesu Childrens Hospital | Gianchecchi E.,Vismederi Srl | Fierabracci A.,Bambino Gesu Childrens Hospital
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2015

Autoimmune disorders are increasing worldwide. Although their pathogenesis has not been elucidated yet, a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors is involved in their onset.Toll-like receptors (TLRs) represent a family of pattern recognition receptors involved in the recognition and in the defense of the host from invading microorganisms. They sense a wide range of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) deriving from metabolic pathways selective of bacterial, viral, fungal and protozoan microorganisms. TLR activation plays a critical role in the activation of the downstream signaling pathway by interacting and recruiting several adaptor molecules. Although TLRs are involved in the protection of the host, several studies suggest that, in certain conditions, they play a critical role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. We review the most recent advances showing a correlation between some single nucleotide polymorphisms or copy number variations in TLR genes or in adaptor molecules involved in TLR signaling and the onset of several autoimmune conditions, such as Type I diabetes, autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis. In light of the foregoing we finally propose that molecules involved in TLR pathway may represent the targets for novel therapeutic treatments in order to stop autoimmune processes. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Trombetta C.M.,University of Siena | Perini D.,VisMederi srl | Mather S.,University of Kent | Temperton N.,University of Kent | And 2 more authors.
Vaccines | Year: 2014

Serological techniques commonly used to quantify influenza-specific antibodies include the Haemagglutination Inhibition (HI), Single Radial Haemolysis (SRH) and Virus Neutralization (VN) assays. HI and SRH are established and reproducible techniques, whereas VN is more demanding. Every new influenza vaccine needs to fulfil the strict criteria issued by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in order to be licensed. These criteria currently apply exclusively to SRH and HI assays and refer to two different target groups—healthy adults and the elderly, but other vaccine recipient age groups have not been considered (i.e., children). The purpose of this timely review is to highlight the current scenario on correlates of protection concerning influenza vaccines and underline the need to revise the criteria and assays currently in use. In addition to SRH and HI assays, the technical advantages provided by other techniques such as the VN assay, pseudotype-based neutralization assay, neuraminidase and cell-mediated immunity assays need to be considered and regulated via EMA criteria, considering the many significant advantages that they could offer for the development of effective vaccines. © 2014, Vaccines. All rights reserved.

Montomoli E.,University of Siena | Khadang B.,University of Siena | Piccirella S.,VisMederi Srl | Trombetta C.,University of Siena | And 4 more authors.
Expert Review of Vaccines | Year: 2012

In the 20th century, three influenza pandemics killed approximately 100 million people. The traditional method of influenza vaccine manufacturing is based on using chicken eggs. However, the necessity of the availability of millions of fertile eggs in the event of a pandemic has led research to focus on the development of cell culture-derived vaccines, which offer shorter lead-in times and greater flexibility of production. So far, the cell substrates being evaluated and in use include Vero, Madin-Darby canine kidney, PER.C6 and insect cells. However, Vero cells are the most widely accepted among others. This review introduces briefly the concepts of advanced cell culture-derived influenza vaccine production and highlights the advantages of these vaccines in terms of efficiency, speed and immunogenicity based on the clinical data obtained from different studies. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd.

Trombetta C.M.,University of Siena | Montomoli E.,University of Siena | Montomoli E.,VisMederi srl
Expert Review of Vaccines | Year: 2016

Vaccination is the most effective method of controlling seasonal influenza infections and preventing possible pandemic events. Although influenza vaccines have been licensed and used for decades, the potential correlates of protection induced by these vaccines are still a matter of discussion. Currently, inactivated vaccines are the most common and the haemagglutination inhibition antibody titer is regarded as an immunological correlate of protection and the best available parameter for predicting protection from influenza infection. However, the assay shows some limitations, such as its low sensitivity to B and avian strains and inter-laboratory variability. Additional assays and next-generation vaccines have been evaluated to overcome the limitations of the traditional serological techniques and to elicit broad immune responses, underlining the need to revise the current correlates of protection. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the current scenario regarding the immunological evaluation and correlates of protection of influenza vaccines. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Gianchecchi E.,Vismederi Srl | Gianchecchi E.,Bambino Gesu Childrens Hospital | Fierabracci A.,Bambino Gesu Childrens Hospital
Immunologic Research | Year: 2016

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the selective destruction of insulin-producing β cells as result of a complex interplay between genetic, stochastic and environmental factors in genetically susceptible individuals. An increasing amount of experimental data from animal models and humans has supported the role played by imbalanced gut microbiome in T1D pathogenesis. The commensal intestinal microbiota is fundamental for several physiologic mechanisms, including the establishment of immune homeostasis. Alterations in its composition have been correlated to changes in the gut immune system, including defective tolerance to food antigens, intestinal inflammation and enhanced gut permeability. Early findings reported differences in the intestinal microbiome of subjects affected by prediabetes or overt disease compared to healthy individuals. The present review focuses on microbiota-host homeostasis, its alterations, factors that influence microbiome composition and discusses their putative correlation with T1D development. Further studies are necessary to clarify the role played by microbiota modifications in the processes that cause enhanced permeability and the autoimmune mechanisms responsible for T1D onset. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York

PubMed | Stanford University and VisMederi Srl
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics | Year: 2016

We previously reported an increased frequency of antibodies to hypocretin (HCRT) receptor 2 in sera obtained from narcoleptic patients who received the European AS03-adjuvanted vaccine Pandemrix (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, s.a.) for the global influenza A H1N1 pandemic in 2009 [A(H1N1)pdm09]. These antibodies cross-reacted with a particular fragment of influenza nucleoprotein (NP) - one of the proteins naturally contained in the virus used to make seasonal influenza vaccine and pandemic influenza vaccines. The purpose of this commentary is to provide additional insights and interpretations of the findings and share additional data not presented in the original paper to help the reader appreciate the key messages of that publication. First, a brief background to narcolepsy and vaccine-induced narcolepsy will be provided. Then, additional insights and clarification will be provided on the following topics: 1) the critical difference identified in the adjuvanted A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccines, 2) the contributing factor likely for the discordant association of narcolepsy between the AS03-adjuvanted pandemic vaccines Pandemrix and Arepanrix (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, s.a.), 3) the significance of detecting HCRT receptor 2 (HCRTr2) antibodies in some Finnish control subjects, 4) the approach used for the detection of HCRTr2 antibodies in vaccine-associated narcolepsy, and 5) the plausibility of the proposed mechanism involving HCRTr2 modulation in vaccine-associated narcolepsy.

PubMed | Pool Pharma MI Scientific Director and VisMederi Srl
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene | Year: 2016

Vaccines and antiviral drugs are the most widely used methods of preventing or treating Influenza virus infection. The role of sea buckthorn (SBT) bud dry extract as a natural antiviral drug against Influenza was investigated.Influenza virus was cultured in the MDCK cell line, with or without SBT bud extract, and virus growth was assessed by HA and TCID50 virus titration in terms of cytopathic effect on cells. Several concentrations of extract were tested, the virus titer being measured on day 4 after infection.After infection, the virus titer in the control sample was calculated to be 2.5 TCID50/ml; treatment with SBT bud extract reduced the virus titer to 2.0 TCID50/ml at 50 g/ml, while the HA titer was reduced from 1431 (control) to 178. Concentrations lower than 50g/ml displayed an inhibitory effect in the HA assay, but not in the TCID50 virus titration; however, observation of the viral cultures confirmed a slowdown of viral growth at all concentrations.Natural dietary supplements and phytotherapy are a growing market and offer new opportunities for the treatment of several diseases and disorders. These preliminary experiments are the first to show that SBT bud extract is able to reduce the growth of the Influenza A H1N1 virus in vitro at a concentration of 50 g/ml. This discovery opens up the possibility of using SBT bud extract as a valid weapon against Influenza and, in addition, as the starting-point for the discovery of new drugs.

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