Professor, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia
Title: Lipophilic vaccine delivery systems
Professor Istvan TOTH is Chair in Biological Chemistry & Professor of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane, Australia; Affiliated Professorial Research Fellow and Group Leader, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, UQ. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University, Budapest, Hungary in 1969 and was awarded his PhD in 1972 for research in Alkaloid Chemistry. In 1994 he was awarded a DSc for his work on drug delivery. Prof. Toth moved from the School of Pharmacy at the University of London to the University of Queensland in 1998, and leads a productive medicinal chemistry research group (presently 30 members). He is an elected RACI Fellow, Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences and Fellow (External) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 2009 he was awarded the Adrian Albert award for sustained and outstanding research in medicinal biochemistry. He has over 400 peer-reviewed publications (>500 citations/year since 2012), 44 patents, and a strong record in research commercialization.His research has attracted over $84 million in competitive grants, research contracts and investment funds in the past 10 years, including an NHMRC Program grant, which is now in its fourth successive 5-year term and a recent NHMRC Project Grant.
Infection with group A streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes, GAS), one of the common and widespread human pathogens, can result in a broad range of diseases, with the potential of acute and post-infectious rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Immunity to GAS relies on the production of opsonic antibodies specific to the hypervariable N-terminal and conserved C-terminal regions of the coiled-coil α-helical M protein, the major virulent factor in GAS. The development of an effective vaccine for GAS has been challenged by the induced autoimmunity of epitopes derived from the C-terminal regions, unsuitable B-cell epitopes that have been shown to react with human heart tissue, and the minimal B-cell epitopes, which believed to be safe, shows little or no immunogenicity unless bound to a delivery platform. For vaccine delivery, self-adjuvanting lipid core peptide (LCP) and polymer coated liposome systems including antigen, carrier and adjuvant within the same molecular entity has been developed. The systems allow the attachment of multiple copies of antigens.