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New Vaccine Technology Combats Antibiotic-Resistant Staph Infections

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The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has granted worldwide, exclusive licensing rights for a new vaccine technology to Serenta Biotechnology, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based startup. The technology, co-owned by UMB and Northern Arizona University, is the basis for a multivalent vaccine against infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial strain often resistant to antibiotics.

According to a UMB news release, the vaccine consists of four antigens expressed when S. aureus exists within a biofilm, and one antigen expressed when the bacteria is in its free-floating form. In a mouse model of bone implant infection, the vaccine prevented methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infection. “This is a very promising vaccine candidate with the potential to prevent a range of S. aureus infections, including MRSA,” observes Patrik Bavoil, PhD, chair of UMB School of Dentistry’s Department of Microbial Pathogenesis.

Using an antigen discovery platform in collaboration with UMB, Serenta Biotechnology intends to develop a pipeline of vaccines aimed at additional pathogens, including Streptococcus pyogenes, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii.

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