Vaccine Inventor

Dr. Edmond Remarque (BPRC, The Netherlands)

Edmond Remarque obtained his MSc in Medical Biology at Leiden University in 1988.  In 1996, he obtained his PhD at Leiden University on “The humoral immune response to influenza vaccine in the elderly: the effect of age, health status and vaccine dose on the antibody response”.  Until 2002 he worked at the Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Centre, where his research focused on (annual) influenza vaccination in the elderly, innate immunity (heritability of cytokine profiles and influence thereof on disease susceptibility) and Alzheimers disease.  In 2002 he joined BPRC to work on the malaria blood-stage vaccine candidate AMA1.  BPRCs first generation AMA1 vaccine was evaluated clinically and a second generation AMA1 vaccine, designed to cover antigenic diversity, was developed and is close to clinical evaluation.  Results obtained with AMA1 have provided clues on how to address antigenic diversity in influenza HA, which resulted in the EDUFLUVAC proposal.  His main research interests are: vaccine design, vaccine development, infectious diseases, adjuvant selection, animal studies, assay harmonisation, statistics and epidemiology.

Based on the success of the Diversity Covering (DiCo) approach used for the development of a new malaria vaccine in the AMA1-DiCo project, Edmond Remarque proposed a similar combinatorial strategy for a novel influenza vaccine approach able to induce broad coverage of circulating epidemic influenza viruses.

The Diversity Covering (DiCo) approach

The innovation of this approach lies in the selection of a number of antigenic variants with maximal sequence diversity (with  H1, H3 and B (sub)types addressed separately), resulting in diluted strain-specific epitopes and enhanced presentation of common epitopes to the immune system thereby increasing the breadth of antibody response.  The EDUFLUVAC project builds on a concept coined in 1957 by Fred Davenport and Albert Hennessy: “To induce at all ages a broad composite of antibody which resembles that of the older segments of the population, whose antigenic experience is greatest and whose susceptibility is least, has become a goal for artificial immunization.” (Davenport and Hennessy J. Exp Med. 1957 106 (6) 835-850)