Forging a position as an innovative player in infectious disease vaccines and therapies
BioDiem is an ASX-listed biotechnology company (BDM), based in Melbourne, with a focus on developing and commercialising vaccines and infectious disease therapies. With existing revenues from vaccine licenses in India and China, the company uses a cost-efficient approach to portfolio development through collaborations with academic centres of excellence, contract research organisations and partnerships with international biopharmaceutical companies. BioDiem has three main development programs:
1. Expansion of the revenue-generating LAIV-based influenza vaccine licensing business,
2. Development of the antimicrobial BDM-I for the treatment of important infectious diseases,
3. Development of new vaccines and viral ‘vector’ (or carrier) systems.
BioDiem’s leading product is the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV) technology, which has been used to develop a novel intranasal vaccine for seasonal and pandemic influenza. The technology is licensed to BioDiem by the Institute of Experimental Medicine (IEM) in St Petersburg, Russia.
The version of the LAIV vaccine that uses chicken eggs for production is licensed to the World Health Organization for use in developing countries as part of the Global Pandemic Influenza Action Plan to Increase Vaccine Supply. This allows governmental and non-governmental organisations or private companies in those territories to produce seasonal and pandemic vaccines in eggs. The egg-based LAIV vaccine has been launched in India as Nasovac™ for protection against H1N1 influenza.
A version of the vaccine which can be grown in cells has completed first-in-human and proof-of-concept clinical trials in Europe as part of development for European registration. This technology is currently available for licence from BioDiem.
Development of the antimicrobial BDM-I
BDM-I is a novel compound which has shown impressive and broad activity in screening studies against a range of pathogenic micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi and protozoa. This data has come from research work conducted both in Australia and at leading US Government-backed research institutions.
The continued rise in antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA, and the increasing problem of clinical fungal infections, has led to significant interest in compounds which may address the lack of treatment options. Patents for BDM-I have been granted in both the world’s three largest patent jurisdictions, the US, Europe and Japan.
BioDiem is currently advancing BDM-I testing into pre-clinical mdoels of a number of infectious diseases including schistosomiasis, which affects millions of people worldwide.
New vaccines and the vector project
BioDiem is also investigating the use of its proprietary LAIV technology as a vector for designing preventative and therapeutic vaccines. Towards this end BioDiem has acquired and licensed complementary technologies to widen the variety of potential disease targets for its vaccine technologies.
BioDiem’s business model in this area is to generate income from partnerships with other vaccine development companies through existing and new licences to its LAIV vaccine, while pursuing development of its own vaccines. This model has been proven successful with significant income having been received for both the cell-based LAIV and egg-based LAIV technologies.
In addition to having established its product development pipeline via in-licensing, BioDiem has the expertise to recognise further product opportunities arising from the pipeline.