Vaccines are generally recognized as the most cost-effective approach to infectious disease healthcare. However, the development of conventional vaccine approaches (using live-attenuated or killed pathogens, or protein subunits) has been constrained in many cases by technical limitations as well as requirements for a significant manufacturing infrastructure. In addition, the safety risks associated with these vaccines may offset their potential benefit. We believe our DNA-based vaccine products are simpler to manufacture than conventional vaccines made using cell or egg-based culture procedures. In addition, our DNA delivery technologies can accelerate certain aspects of vaccine product development such as nonclinical evaluation and manufacturing, offering quicker routes to the clinic.
Traditionally, vaccines have been predominantly focused on the pediatric market, intended to protect children from diseases that could cause them serious harm. Today, there is a growing interest in vaccines against diseases that may affect adolescents and adults, which include both sexually transmitted diseases and opportunistic infections that may strike during pregnancy or in immunocompromised or geriatric populations. We believe our technologies, because of their potential safety and development timeline advantages, may be ideally suited for the development of this new generation of vaccines.