NOVARTIS VACCINES & DIAGNOSTICS
Via Fiorentina, 1
|Dr. Margarit Y Ros Immaculada
NVD Research Institute is a well recognised Centre of Excellence in Vaccines Research and Development. The Institute has developed innovative genomic technologies to vaccine antigen identification, including Reverse Vaccinology (Pizza et al. 2000; Grifantini et al. 2002), and Surfome Analysis (Rodriguez-Ortega et al 2006). NV&D Research has set up several platform technologies instrumental to the project, such as HTP protein expression and purification, mass spectrometry, protein microarrays and HTP serology. Within the frame of an internal project aimed at identifying a vaccine against GAS, NVD has developed huge expertise on GAS infections and their sequelae. The reverse vaccinology approach was applied to predict by bioinformatic tools, all possible antigens expressed on the surface of the pathogen and three hundred surface predicted proteins were obtained in recombinant form. This unique collection of GAS antigens has been instrumental for the preparation of GAS antigen microarrays allowing investigating antibody responses in patients experiencing different types of GAS diseases, as well as protein-protein interactions between GAS surface antigens and host target molecules (Margarit et al.). Those studies led to the discovery of high immune responses to GAS antigens in patients with TS compared to the background paediatric population (Bombaci et al. 2010), a fundamental finding for the scope of the EMTICS project.