LineaRx, a subsidiary of molecular technology company Applied DNA Sciences, has entered into a joint development agreement with Italian biotech Takis over developing DNA-based anti-cancer vaccines for humans.

The agreement also includes an alliance with Evvivax, a Takis company, related to the discovery and development of similar vaccines for the veterinary market.

As part of the collaboration, the partners will leverage LineaRx’s DNA technology to co-develop linear DNA expression vectors for two Takis anti-cancer vaccine candidates.

Takis’s electroporation technology will be used to deliver linear DNA amplicons carrying the DNA sequences for the vaccine candidates into preclinical animal models, for evaluation.

The partners intend to assess the antigen-specific immune responses required to achieve therapeutic effects.

Takis CEO Dr Luigi Aurisicchio said: “Initial data from the use of LineaRx’s amplicons in our vaccine candidates is promising. The advantages of linear DNA over plasmids would provide a clear market edge over plasmid-based DNA sources.”

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“The advantages of linear DNA over plasmids would provide a clear market edge over plasmid-based DNA sources.”

DNA vaccines are considered clinically beneficial due to their stability at room temperature and during transportation, and the low risk of infection or secondary illness, compared to traditional vaccines.

Applied DNA president and CEO Dr James Hayward said: “The use of PCR-produced linear DNA, as opposed to bacterially produced plasmids, is an innovative concept that provides the potential for increased patient safety, ease of manufacture and vaccine logistics, and reduced costs.

“Our know-how in the fields of bulk linear DNA production and in bioconjugate chemistry enables us to create novel and highly efficient expression vectors.”

It is estimated that the global DNA-based human vaccine market will reach $2.7bn by next year, with a compound annual growth rate of 55% over the following years.