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Martin Bachmann

Professor of Vaccinology, Group Head / PI and Supervisor

Prof Bachmann established that epitope repetitiveness is a geometric pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP). He demonstrated that highly repetitive structures enhance B cell responses by efficiently cross-linking B cell receptors as well as effectively recruiting the innate humoral immune system. This offers an explanation for the high immunogenicity of viruses and many bacteria.

He has harnessed the concept of epitope repetitiveness as a molecular PAMP to develop a new vaccine platform. The basis of the vaccines are epitopes chemically conjugated to virus-like particles. Preclinical proof-of-concept (PoC) has been reached with numerous prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. Using this technology, pioneering clinical PoC has been obtained for vaccines for the treatment of hypertension and smoking.

Based on this technology, Novartis has a program for Alzheimer’s disease ongoing and Pfizer has a program in the field of allergy. A*Star in Singapore conducted a clinical study for a vaccine against influenza virus in 2013.

He established that toll-like receptor 9 ligands packaged into VLPs are more potent than free toll-like receptor 9 ligands and at the same time exhibit better tolerability. Based on these insights he initiated numerous clinical trials, resulting in encouraging data for a vaccine against melanoma and clinical PoC for the treatment of allergy and asthma.

He has developed a number of novel technologies, including new expression systems, a functional genomics technology based on mammalian cell display and a technology to isolate fully human antibodies.

Recent publications

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