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Advaxis, Karolinska Institutet to Collaborate on Allergies

Marianne van Hage research group (Karolinska Institutet)

Marianne van Hage -- second row, white sweater -- and her research group (Karolinska Institutet)

Advaxis Inc., a biotechnology company in Princeton, New Jersey says it will partner with a lab at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet on research leading to preventions or treatments for cat allergies. Financial terms of the collaboration were not revealed.

The company plans to work with the lab headed by Marianne van Hage, a professor of immunology in the Karolinska Institutet’s medical school. Advaxis plans to work with van Hage initially on allergies to cats, but both parties indicate they would consider expanding the relationship in the future to include other allergies.

Research conducted by van Hage focuses on the molecular mechanisms of underlying allergic disease and the function of allergens, which has led to the development of diagnostic markers and new strategies for vaccination. Her work has involved cat allergies as a model, which contributed to treatments and prevention options for allergic responses. She is expected to use Advaxis’s immunotherapies to develop allergy vaccines or treatments with the models developed in her lab.

Advaxis’s technology makes use of live, attenuated bioengineered Listeria monocytogenes — often considered food-borne pathogens — but in the Advaxis platform, they become a therapeutic agent, to induce antigen-specific anti-tumor immune responses. This technology is based on research conducted at University of Pennsylvania by microbiologist Yvonne Paterson. Advaxis has several drugs in clinical trials testing treatments for cancer and related infectious diseases.

Read more: New Methods Proposed for Testing Allergens Without Animals

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