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Framework programme: 6
Call: 4
Project number: LSHP-CT-2006-036871
EC contribution: € 2,000,000
Duration: 36 Months
Starting date: January 2007
Graphic element Highly Innovative Strategies for Vaccination to Poverty Related Diseases
Keywords: Bacillus, bacterial spores, spore vaccines, heat-stable vaccines, 2ndgeneration vaccines, mucosal vaccines, oral vaccines, edible vaccines, malaria, tuberculosis, nanobiotechnology, S-layers, M. bovis, M. tuberculosis


The INNOVAC project comprises seven partners, three of whom are SMEs. The consortium will develop three platform technologies that will be used for novel and highly innovative methods for vaccination against two of the most important poverty-related diseases, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. An important aspect to this proposal is inclusion of a vaccine-producing SME, Vabiotech, from a developing country. The three R&D platforms are:

  1. Bacterial spores. Robust and heat-stable bioparticles with proven efficacy as mucosal vaccines
  2. Intracellular & Invasive bacteria including E. coli strains and Mycobacterium bovis (rBCG)
  3. S-layer protein conjugates and S-layer protein coated liposomes.

INNOVAC will focus on discovery activities including proof-of-principle studies to show Ag expression, testing of vaccines in vitro as well as challenge experiments in vivo. The project will test and evaluate highly innovative strategies for vaccination using recombinant systems, some in their infancy and others at a more advanced stage of development. This project will include construction of vaccine vehicles, their evaluation in animal models, challenge experiments and finally safety tests where appropriate in order to take potential vaccines to the stage of clinical evaluation. Inclusion of a partner SME from a developing country will enable technology transfer to that partner as well as resources to the six European partners.


The partners have a background in vaccine development (Cutting; Cobra Biomanufacturing & Nano-S), vaccine manufacture (Vabiotech), malaria (Heussler) and tuberculosis (Manganelli and Delogu). They have formed a collaborative grouping through which they will exploit novel intellectual property (IP) with the aim of demonstrating proof of principle and commercial feasibility.


The aim of this project will be to develop new and novel vaccines that could be developed for vaccination against malaria and/or TB. Proof-of-principle that can enhance the value of existing IP will be the primary aim. The technologies under development are particularly novel and include heat-stable bacterial spores for antigen delivery as well as bacterial systems that can deliver antigens inside the host cell (intracellular delivery). Malaria and TB are of concern to both developing and developed countries. One of the partners in the project is a commercial partner with a long history in vaccine production from a developing country, namely Vietnam. It is our aim that this partner will facilitate the development of novel vaccine technology for developing countries.

Expected results:

It is not expected that a ‘ready-to-go’ vaccine will be developed in this project. The aims are more realistic; namely the validation of one or possibly more of the platform technologies in development. In principle, the project may generate encouraging results with one or more vaccine candidates against either malaria or TB; that could lead to preclinical studies and long-term, clinical studies in collaboration with industrial partners.

Potential applications:

Heat stable vaccines are of particular interest to developing countries enabling more stable and robust products. Invasive delivery systems, if validated, could be efficient at targeting and preventing infection of not only Plasmodium and M. tuberculosis but also other intracellular pathogens.


1 - Professor Simon M. Cutting
School of Biological Sciences
Royal Holloway University of London
Egham - Surrey
TW20 0EX
Tel: +44-(0)1784-443760
Mob: +44-(0)7733-425024
Fax: +44-(0)1784-434326


Official Address Other Information
2Rocky Cranenburgh Molecular Genetics Team Leader
Cobra Biomanufacturing plc
The Science Park
Staffordshire - ST5 5SP
Tel.: +44 (0)1782 714 181 x 268
Fax.: +44 (0)1782 799 817
Website :
3Alexander Matis CEO Nano S Biotechnologie GmbH
Gregor Mendelstr. 33
A-1180 Vienna
Tel: +43 1 47654 2219
4Riccardo Manganelli Department of Histology,
Microbiology and Medical Biotechnologies
University of Padova,
Medical School,
Via A. Gabelli, 63,
35121 Padova
Tel: +39 49 827 2366
Fax: +39 49 827 2355
5Giovanni Delogu Istituto di Microbiologica,
Facolta’ di Medicina e Chirurgia “A. Gemelli”,
Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore,
Largo A. Gemelli, 8,
00168 - Rome
Tel: +390-630-154-964
Fax: +390-630-51152
6Volker Heussler Bernhard Nocht Institute
for Tropical Medicine,
Department of Molecular Parasitology,
Malaria laboratory, I
Bernhard-Nocht-Str. 74,
20359 Hamburg
Phone: +49-40-42818-485
Fax: +49-40-42818-512
7Nguyen Thu Van Vabiotech,
National Institute of Hygiene & Epidemiology,
1 Yersin Street,
Tel: +84-4-8-211-500
Fax: +84-4-9-717-721

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