Dalton and University of Guelph Collaborate in Anti-TB Vaccine Development

Dalton and University of Guelph Collaborate in Anti-TB Vaccine Development
Dalton and University of Guelph are collaborating on the development of an anti-tuberculosis (TB) vaccine. The vaccine is being developed jointly by Professor Mario A. Monteiro and Dalton Pharma Services in Canada.

Toronto, Ontario, September 28, 2012

Dalton Pharma Services a leading Canadian provider of drug discovery, development and manufacturing services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, today announced that the Company and the University of Guelph are developing a vaccine against tuberculosis. Initiation of the program was made possible through government funding directed at applied research.

The vaccine will be jointly developed at the University of Guelph and Dalton under the direction of Professor Mario A. Monteiro, who is a world leader in microbial polysaccharide discovery and the development of polysaccharide-based vaccines. Dalton will scale up and manufacture the conjugate vaccine under GLP for proof of concept studies in an animal model.

"This collaboration is a perfect fit for our long term business development strategy in the vaccine field", said Peter Pekos, CEO of Dalton. "A vaccine against TB is one of the world's most sought after vaccines. Successful commercialization would result in a potential blockbuster product that Dalton will manufacture in Canada. Industry, government, and academia will work together creating highly skilled jobs and further strengthen our capacity for innovative development in the vaccine sector."

Commented Professor Monteiro, "I am delighted to embark on this project with Dalton, on the leading edge of development of the vaccines to treat diseases that cause considerable suffering around the world. "

"Tuberculosis", continued Professor Monteiro, "causes more deaths than any other infectious disease. About 2 billion people are infected with the TB bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Each year, 8 million people develop active TB, and 2 million die. Although the world's poorest countries have the highest overall incidence of active TB, some segments of North American society have even greater rates. The challenges posed by this disease have been increased by the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains. Current treatments for MDR-TB involve very long periods of intensive drug therapy, which are accompanied by side effects many patients find unbearable, and often fail."

The strategy used for the anti-TB vaccine program of Dalton and U of G is to develop an initial vaccine which is effective against Mycobacterium bovis, the agent responsible for tuberculosis in cattle and lions. Previous studies have shown that M. bovis and the human agent M. tuberculosis share similar polysaccharides. The polysaccharide-based M. bovis vaccine will be constructed using technology developed by Professor Monteiro and will be evaluated in a lion animal model through an arrangement already in place with veterinary expertise at the Timbavati Nature Reserve in South Africa. A successful outcome will lead to a vaccine treatment for animal TB, and will provide a solid platform for the development of a human anti-TB vaccine.

About Dalton:
Dalton Chemical Laboratories Inc. o/a Dalton Pharma Services is a Health Canada approved contract pharmaceutical manufacturer that supplies chemistry, analytical and formulation development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the areas of chemistry, medicinal chemistry and fine chemical manufacture. Dalton provides cGMP manufacturing of solid dosage forms and aseptic filling services to its customers at any stage of the regulatory process (Phase I, II, III or commercial). In its modern cGMP facilities, Dalton produces active pharmaceutical ingredients at the gram or kilogram scale. Dalton conducts aseptic fills to produce batches of finished drug product in vials or syringes, either aseptically filled or terminally sterilized, under fully validated conditions. In addition, Dalton's analytical chemistry laboratory offers method development, validation and ICH stability programs to its clients. Further information can be found at http://www.dalton.com.

About Professor Monteiro:
Mario A. Monteiro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Guelph. He is developing polysaccharide-based vaccines against pathogens which affect both humans and animals. His work in the area of human gastric pathogens includes Campylobacter jejuni (travellers' diarrhea), Helicobacter pylori (gastric cancer), and Clostridium difficile (antibiotic-associated diarrhea). For more information, visit http://www.uoguelph.ca/~monteiro.   

For further information, contact:

Peter Pekos
President & CEO
Dalton Pharma Services Inc.
349 Wildcat Road
Toronto, Ontario
Tel: 416-661-2102