Date: 15-Sep-2020

MediciNova Announces BioComos Intranasal RS Virus Vaccine Successfully Induced Neutralizing Antibodies Against RS Virus In Mice Using BC PIV Technolog

MediciNova, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, announced that BioComo, co-developer of MediciNova’s SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for COVID-19, announced that its Respiratory Syncytial (RS) virus vaccine using BC-PIV technology induced high neutralizing antibodies in mice.  

BioComo’s RS virus vaccine was created using the BC-PIV and VLP-BC-PIV platform technology developed by BioComo and Mie University.  The RS virus specific antigen was loaded into BC-PIV and VLP-BC-PIV and mice were inoculated by intranasal administration. Strong induction of neutralizing antibodies against the prefusion F antigen was confirmed.

RS virus is known to infect the human respiratory tract and re-infection occurs throughout life.  In general, RS virus only cause mild cold symptoms in healthy adults.  However, infants with a first-time infection, immunocompromised people, and elderly people may develop severe diseases such as bronchitis, bronchiolitis, or pneumonia.  RS virus vaccine development has been ongoing for the past 30 years, but without success to date.

The successful induction of neutralizing antibodies against the RS virus using BC-PIV technology and the intranasal route of administration support the scientific and technical rationale of MediciNova’s intranasal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for COVID-19. This confirmation of neutralizing antibody induction by the RS virus vaccine strongly supports the likelihood of successful induction of neutralizing antibodies by MediciNova’s intranasal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine which also uses BC-PIV technology.

BioComo’s RS virus vaccine mouse model study was conducted at Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) in Leipzig, Germany.  IZI is the largest research and development institute in the field of medicine and life sciences in the EU.  MediciNova is also planning to work with IZI for additional animal studies for its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development.

Yuichi Iwaki, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of MediciNova, Inc., commented, "We are very pleased to confirm that an intranasal vaccine using BC-PIV technology induces neutralizing antibodies as demonstrated by BioComo’s RS virus vaccine.  We look forward to reporting additional progress on our intranasal COVID-19 vaccine using BC-PIV as soon as possible.”

BC-PIV, an innovative non-transmissible viral vector co-developed by BioComo and Mie University, is derived from the recombinant human parainfluenza virus type 2 (hPIV2).  It is highly efficient in its ability to transfer multiple foreign proteins to recipients and has a strong safety profile as no secondary infectious virus is produced.  BC-PIV is designed to display not only the gene but also the foreign protein itself on the surface and inside of the viral membrane. Therefore, it can carry the large membrane proteins of viruses and signal transduction receptors/ligand proteins on the viral surface.  BC-PIV is able to carry the proteins that require a proper three-dimensional structure or multimeric structure while maintaining the structure.  BC-PIV elicits good immunogenicity against antigen proteins without adjuvants.  The BC-PIV SARS-CoV-2 vaccine prototype has been developed to include the specific SARS-CoV-2 antigen protein in order to express maximum antigenicity.  The BC-PIV SARS-CoV-2 vaccine can be developed as an intranasal vaccine in addition to an intramuscular injection because of its high affinity to nasal and upper respiratory tract mucosa, which is the same route of the natural infection of SARS-CoV-2.  An intranasal vaccine is expected to induce local mucosal immunity. To date, BioComo has succeeded in producing a recombinant Ebola virus vaccine and a Respiratory Syncytial virus prefusion F vaccine (unpublished data) using this BC-PIV platform technology.

BioComo, a biotech company founded at Mie Prefecture, Japan in May 2008, is developing cutting-edge technology platforms for creating the novel and predominant vaccine carriers and adjuvants to enhance immunity in collaboration with the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Department of Mie University.

MediciNova, Inc. is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company founded upon acquiring and developing novel, small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with unmet medical needs with a primary commercial focus on the US market.