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Spring Bank Broadens Application of Proprietary “Small Molecule Nucleic Acids Hybrids” (SMNH) Platform for the Discovery of Vaccine Adjuvants.

Prof. Jagannath, PhD., of the University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX, in a collaboration with Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals presented at ICAAC an abstract entitled “Synthetic Small Molecule Nucleic acid Hybrid Compounds Stimulate TLR-7 in Macrophages and Dendritic Cells Infected with BCG Vaccine and Enhance Efficacy of the BCG Vaccine Through an Adjuvant Action Against Tuberculosis.”

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Milford, Mass., September 12, 2013 – Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative medicines has broadened the application of its proprietary “small molecule nucleic acids hybrids” (SMNH) platform for the discovery of vaccine adjuvants. In a collaborative study with Dr. C. Jagannath of the University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX., SB 9922, a Toll-like receptor-7 (TLR7) agonist was found to be a potent adjuvant when used in combination with BCG vaccine against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). It is well known that BCG and Mtb sequester in immature phagosomes thereby helping Mtb survival by immune evasion and that TLR activation during Mtb infection may enhance innate immune responses. Consistent with this hypothesis, Spring Bank’s SB 9922, a TLR7 agonist, was found to enhance the innate responses of BCG-infected APCs, and markedly amplify the adaptive immune responses against tuberculosis in mice and increase vaccine-induced memory response. SB 9922 and other SMNH agonists of TLR7 are therefore novel adjuvants for BCG vaccine.

The findings were presented by Dr. Jagannath at the 53rd International Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy held in Denver, CO on September 10-13, 2013. Dr. Jagannath is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston Medical School.  The major focus of Dr. Jagannath’s laboratory is on vaccine development for tuberculosis.

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (Mtb), which causes tuberculosis kills more people today than any other bacterial infection. Two million people die each year from tuberculosis. Emergence of multi-drug-resistant Mtb (MDR-Mtb) is a major problem worldwide. Consequently, prophylactic strategies such as the development of more effective vaccines are urgently needed along with the development of Immunotherapeutics against Mtb.

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