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appears effectiveas a malaria treatment.

  1. 3,176 Posts.
    PRIMA BIOMED LTD 2003-04-30 ASX-SIGNAL-G

    HOMEX - Perth

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Prima BioMed Ltd (ASX: PRR) today announced preliminary results
    showing that its experimental DCtag malaria vaccine appears effective
    as a malaria treatment.

    Previously, Prima subsidiary Panvax Ltd reported that immunisation of
    mice with a DCtag vaccine before they were infected with malaria
    could protect them from malaria infection. In collaboration with
    scientists at the Austin Research Institute, Panvax has now
    demonstrated that the malaria parasite can be eradicated from the
    majority of mice already infected with malaria. Treatment of infected
    animals previously focused on using anti-malarial drugs rather than
    vaccines.

    This is a significant finding with substantial commercial potential.
    The DCtag technology which is a platform with broad potential to
    enhance immune responses to immunotherapies, including vaccines - has
    now been shown in laboratory studies to enhance both protection from
    disease and clearance of an existing infection.

    The work has been led by Associate Professor Magda Plebanski, who
    joined the Austin Research Institute from Oxford University to
    oversee the development of vaccines and in particular the DCtag
    project. Results announced last year demonstrated that immunisation
    with DCtag malaria vaccines was able to protect immunised mice from a
    lethal dose of the malaria parasite, thereby showing the potential
    for the development of a vaccine to prevent malaria.

    Panvax is currently undertaking additional studies to determine the
    full extent of this result.

    Mr Clark, CEO of Prima Biomed said, "These new results confirm the
    increasing value of the intellectual property associated with the
    DCtag project as there is the potential to develop a malaria vaccine
    using the DCtag technology that will both prevent malaria and treat,
    potentially eradicating, an established infection. "On a global scale
    malaria remains of great concern as there is no effective vaccine or
    treatment for the major forms of the disease. There are currently
    between 300 and 500 million people infected with the disease each
    year, of which 1.2 to 2.7 million people will die. There is a huge
    global effort in place to develop simple and effective treatments for
    the prevention and control of malaria.

    The initial development program to assess the platform potential of
    the DCtag technology and to develop and commercialise DCtag
    technology remains on track with other results expected to be
    released shortly. Panvax is also finalising the terms of a
    collaborative agreement with another international biotechnology
    company concerning other applications of the DCtag technology and it
    is anticipated that the terms of this agreement will be announced
    shortly. Panvax has previously announced a collaboration in the field
    of malaria with the Paris-based Institute Pasteur. This collaboration
    is evaluating additional opportunities to protect against malaria
    infection. Panvax expects to enter into licensing arrangements and
    further collaborations for the commercial exploitation of this
    technology progressively across a range of disease categories.

    ABOUT PANVAX LIMITED

    Panvax is a subsidiary of Prima BioMed Limited (65% owned). It is
    focussed on immunotherapy and is developing a platform technology
    with the potential to boost the immune responses to vaccine and
    immunotherapy products being developed for both human and animal
    health. The company is progressing programs in malaria, viral
    diseases and cancer in order to demonstrate that the DCtag technology
    is able to induce effective immune responses and protection against
    disease.

    Inquiries: Marcus Clark Chief Executive Officer 03 9854 5700
    Rudi Michelson (Monsoon Communications) 03 9620 3333



 
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