Genomics and proteomics platforms for vaccines and immune therapeutics discovery and development

Principal Investigator: Rafick-Pierre Sékaly
Theme : Health
Competition : PRIVAC competition
Status : Completed
End: Mar. 31, 2011
Budget : $7,372,475.00

Viral infections continue to kill millions of people each year. The search for effective vaccines and immunotherapies is an international priority and is a very important field of research. The lack of understanding of the mechanisms underling induction of an effective immune response remains a major obstacle to the development of therapies for these diseases. The PRIVAC project by Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, a scientist from the Université de Montréal, proposes to use genetic profile and biomarkers analysis to discover protective mechanisms related to immunity, to develop safer and more effective vaccines against diseases like AIDS and viral hepatitis. A direct outcome of this project will be the creation of a high-throughput technology platform that will make the rapid and precise monitoring of the immune response possible for different models of infections, facilitating therapeutic optimization. The platform will develop new tests based on signatures associated with immune responses, using state of the art genomics and proteomics technologies. With the cooperation of its private partners Argos Therapeutics and MDS Pharma Services, the tools developed during this project will be tested using samples of seropositive patients and patients vaccinated against hepatitis or influenza. Biosystemix Ltd. will also make an important contribution to bioinformatic analysis, a major component of such a platform. This platform will provide leading-edge services in immunology to academic researchers and all pharmaceutical companies working in the field of vaccinations. It will become a major engine of discovery that will produce important scientific and economic outcomes for Québec. It is estimated that developing a therapeutic vaccine about 20% effective against AIDS would generate savings inCanadain the order of $600 millions per year. This platform will also be used to undertake the development of therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of cancer. By allowing the deployment of such a platform dedicated to the immune response, the PRIVAC program is adding to the pre-clinical and clinical expertise already available in Québec, making Québec a major centre for therapeutic optimization.



Claude Auclair The CTN - CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network
Denise Avard Université de Montréal
Robert Balderas Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD)
Elias El Haddad Université de Montréal
Yann Joly Université de Montréal
Claire Landry Université de Montréal
Charles Nicolette Argos Therapeutics, Inc.
Jean-Pierre Routy McGill University
Jean Vincelette Hôpital Saint-Luc
Peter Wilkinson Université de Montréal
Bader Yassine-Diab Université de Montréal