Mercer University is set to headline a conference in America that will discuss innovative vaccines, with a new meningitis vaccine and a cancer vaccine to be revealed.
The meningitis vaccine is a cost-effective and convenient alternative to current options. Meningitis still has high fatality rates, and it can spread to the brain or other parts of the body within one or two days when infected.
Vaccines play an important role here because they generate immunity against the bacteria before it can cause infection.
Martin D'Souza, Ph.D., director of graduate programmes and co-director of the Center for Drug Delivery Research at Mercer University said: "Although vaccines are available for meningitis, our research focuses on the development of an oral vaccine that can be needle free and patient compliant.
"This vaccine is delivered in the form of spherical bead like particles called microparticles that protect the vaccine's degradation from acid in the stomach and ensure its delivery to the intestine where the microparticles are taken up by specialised M-cells and further presented to the body's immune system."
One of the other groundbreaking discoveries that will be discussed is a cancer vaccine which uses the tumour itself. Cancer is overwhelmingly complicated to treat, and there is often a chance that the cancer will return once it has been treated. This vaccine is one of many treatments that is being considered to treat the disease and offset relapses.
Dr D'Souza explained: "When a patient gets admitted to a hospital and undergoes surgical removal of tumour, the same tumour can be used to make the cancer vaccine which is very specific to their cancer.
"By doing so, the therapy ensures that the patient gets a customised vaccine to combat further relapse of cancer in the most effective way."
As well as revealing this groundbreaking research, there will also be discussions on diversity and complexity of vaccine manufacturing, scale-up and tech transfer strategies, applications of multi-scale systems pharmacology, and advances in novel small protein therapeutic modalities.