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Drug Names(s): GI-5005, Tarmogen
Description: The GI-5005 Tarmogen (Targeted Molecular Immunogens) expresses a fusion protein encompassing sequences from both HCV NS3 and Core proteins. NS3 and Core are abundantly expressed in infected cells, are required for viral replication and contain targets that are recognized by both CD4+ helper and CD8+ killer T cells.
To create a new Tarmogen, DNA encoding target protein antigens are engineered into a yeast expression plasmid. The encoded antigens are markers of diseased cells and can be conserved viral proteins, mutated proteins unique to cancer cells, or proteins over-expressed in cancer. The heat-inactivated yeast, with the target protein inside, is the final Tarmogen product. Tarmogens are capable of stimulating the immune system to produce a highly specific and potent T cell response against the diseased cell, which contains the target antigens, with little or no impact on normal cells.
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