Universal Vaccines for the Prevention of Pneumococcal Infectious Diseases
Mingchi Wu, 吳明基, Ph.D.
Co-founder, Director, and Chief Scientific Advisor
SynAm Vaccine Company, MD, USA
SynAm Vaccine is a late pre-clinical stage vaccine development company focused on the development of a universal vaccine for the prevention of pneumococcal diseases including meningitis, middle ear infection, pneumonia and bacteremia. SynAm Vaccine’s lead universal vaccine candidate, SA-185, is believed to provide broad coverage and cross-protection against all pneumococcal strains, a significant competitive advantage over currently marketed vaccines that cover only a fraction of the 91 bacteria serotypes and also cause bacterial mutation. SynAm Vaccine’s breakthrough technological approach with its lead vaccine candidate focuses on neutralizing pneumolysin, the major and common bacterial toxin present in all 91 serotypes of the bacteria. SynAm Vaccine’s approach entails genetically engineering a detoxified pneumolysin for use as an immunogen. This approach has been shown to provide robust coverage and immunologic protection across all pneumococcal serotypes. SynAm Vaccine has proven in over 40 extensive animal model studies that its universal vaccine candidate is safe and effective in mice and rabbits with its broad coverage of bacteria serotypes, that it is superior to the current marketed vaccines and meets the “critical unmet medical need” in the marketplace, a qualification that may enable a 15-yr market exclusivity.
Dr. Wu received his BS degree in Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University (1963), Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1970), and postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins Medical School and University of Pittsburgh Medical School. He started his academic career at University of Miami Medical School/Howard Hughes Medical Institute and later moved to University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth until his retirement in 2006. He then moved back to Taiwan to serve as President/CEO at Development Center for Biotechnology until 2008. His research involves in studying the structure, function and mechanism of action of hematopoietic growth factors specifically colony-stimulating factors (CSF); plasminogen activator and its possible roles in cancer metastasis, as well as the potential applications of bone marrow, cord blood or mesenchymal stem cells in tissue repair and/or replacement. In addition, he has served as a consultant on several biotech projects both in the U.S. and Taiwan, he is a co-founder of a start-up company that engages in the process of developing a universal pneumonia vaccine.