Partner profile SSI

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SSI is a public enterprise under the Danish Ministry of Health. For more than 100 years SSI’s main task has been to secure the preparedness towards infectious diseases and congenital disorders. The tasks have been expanded, and today, SSI is an international research, production and service enterprise.

Vaccine research at the SSI goes back to the institute’s founding in 1902, when it was set up to produce antisera for Diphtheria. Research soon expanded to other epidemic diseases. Today the main effort is devoted to vaccines against diseases that represent a major threat to global health such as Tuberculosis, Chlamydia and HIV. This work involves detailed antigen discovery programs aimed at identifying the proteins that are expressed by these pathogens and recognized by the immune system. Since not all antigens are expressed at all stages of infection, and not all expressed antigens are recognized, this has meant a multidisciplinary program involving genomics, proteomics, analyses of bacterial growth in the laboratory and human field studies in areas where these diseases are endemic. SSI has during the last 20 years had a leading role in the development of a novel TB vaccine and has several ongoing clinical trials with three different lead candidates including H56.

Another major research focus is to develop novel vaccine adjuvants that direct and potentiate the immune responses towards the vaccines and thereby increase the efficacy of the generally low immunogenic subunit antigens. This has so far led to the clinical development of CAF01 which has so far been tested in three phase 1 clinical trials.

SSI’s tasks / roles in the ADITEC project:

ADJUVANT:

  • To supply CAF01, one of the established 1st generation adjuvant candidates, to other partners in the consortium.
  • To develop a 2nd generation adjuvant based on the combination of TLRs and non—TLRs, (CAF09) which induces a stronger CD8 response after s.c./i.m. vaccination
  • To develop a  3rd generation adjuvant which increases the avidity of vaccine induced T-cells as compared to CAF01/CAF09 by combining these with immunostimulators freely accessible  or accessible through the consortium

Tuberculosis:

  • Provide a mouse model of latent TB established by SSI. This model will be used to monitoring vaccine candidates throughout the consortium
  • Provide H56 vaccine for all ADITEC partners
  • Identify correlates of protection and new assays for monitoring vaccine induced immune responses in the latent TB mouse model

Chlamydia:

  • Provide a mouse model of genital chlamydial challenge. This model will be used to monitoring vaccine candidates throughout the consortium
  • Provide MOMP recombinant protein vaccine for all ADITEC partners
  • Provide Chlamydia challenge strain

SSI’s contribution in advancing immunization technologies in the coming years:

  • Supply the consortium with adjuvants (CAF01/CAF09/CAFxx) and recombinant H56 protein vaccine to be tested in the other workpackages.
  • To develop novel adjuvant candidates which induce altered immune responses that will be beneficiary for a broad range of vaccine candidates.
  • New knowledge and assays describing correlates of protection, in particularly with a focus on a chronic infection.

SSI’s contribution so far:

  • Established standardized ADITEC SOPs supplied to the partners in WP1 with CAF01 and in WP6 for H56 related work.
  • Shipped material to 6 ADITEC partners and several new projects are pending.
  • Prepared protocols to the ADITEC partners which have been broadly disseminated.

What SSI expects from the ADITEC project:
SSI expects that ADITEC will contribute in several ways including establishment of new collaborations, strengthening already existing collaboration, expanding research possibilities e.g. by providing material which SSi would not have had access to. In addition, SSI believes that the discussions and new ideas being presented in ADITEC will contribute with important knowledge for SSI’s own internal projects.

SSI’s involved researchers:
Peter Andersen, Vice President of Vaccine Research and Development
Dennis Christensen, head of adjuvant research
Else Marie Agger, director Infectious Disease Immunology, Division of vaccine
Frank Follmann, head of Chlamydia Vaccine Research
Rolf Billeskov, Post doc
Karen Korsholm, Post doc