Our vaccine glycan platform

Malcisbo’s mission is to reduce antibiotic treatment in the farming animal sectors to prevent further arising antibiotic resistances. Therefore, novel anti – bacterial vaccines need to be developed against typical animal bacterial pathogens. To tackle this problem, we use our great expertise in molecular cell manipulation and glycoengineering technologies to address pathogenic surface glycan structures. We identify potential surface glycan structures on pathogenic bacteria, evaluate their potential as vaccine and transplant these glycans into a host bacterium which is ultimately used as a vaccine in the target (animal) species. 

Our glycoplatform technology can be applied for a variety of bacterial diseases and provides a tool for the development of cost-efficient vaccines a prerequisite especially in the animal vaccine business.

First products

Our first glycoplatform derived vaccine targets human food poisoning caused by Campylobacter bacteria. Campylobacter jejuni is a normal gut bacterium of chicken and is the major source of food poisoning in humans through contamination of chicken meat. The vaccine is aiming at the reduction of Campylobacter bacteria in the gut of chickens thereby reducing human exposure and disease.

Malcisbo has out licensed this vaccine to a pharma company in December 2019.

The second glycoplatform derived vaccine targets Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP) in pigs.  APP is causing pneumonia often leading to death and major economic losses in the pig production industry.

Further applications

The livestock industry worldwide is increasingly challenged by bacteria causing diseases in farm animals and hence resulting in production losses or zoonotic diseases, e.g. human food poisoning. With the glycoplatform technology Malcisbo has further vaccine candidates in the pipeline which address these pathogens.


Human Campylobacteriosis is the leading zoonotic disease and Campylobacter is one of the most important food poisoning agents in Europe and in the US. The enormous costs due to Campylobacter induced gastroenteritis (estimated around 400 million human cases worldwide annually), potential hospitalization, and the risk of long-term effects (e.g. Reactive Arthritis, Guillan Barré Syndrome) in the EU and US are calculated to be above 4 billion USD per year.

Contaminated poultry meat represents a major source for human infection. Current approaches for reduction of Campylobacter prevalence in poultry on a farm level or surface decontamination of poultry meat after slaughter are not efficient. But predictions according to the EFSA (European food safety agency) estimate a 90 % health risk reduction by reducing the Campylobacter bacteria counts by a factor of 1000 in the chicken gut.

A vaccine against Campylobacter does not exist but represents a major unmet medical and industrial need. To date, the high variability of Campylobacter jejuni (main gastroenteritis causing member of the Campylobacter family) with more than 60 serotypes, prevents a universal vaccine generation against all species by conventional vaccine strategies.

Malcisbo’s glycoplatform technology offers the development of a broad-spectrum vaccine for broiler chicken covering all serotypes by reducing the contamination of chicken meat. It will be easy to apply and low in production costs.

We have designed a live, oral Campylobacter vaccine using a Salmonella based glycoconjugate for use in broiler chickens. By manipulation of the Salmonella vector bacterium the highly conserved protein bound N-glycan of Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli is expressed on the outer membrane of the bacterial surface.

Using our vaccine Salmonella against Campylobacter in a chicken we could show a more than 1000 times reduction of Campylobacter jejuni in the feces of chicken proving the efficacy of our vaccine. In collaboration with an industry partner the vaccine will be further developed.

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP) induced pleuropneumoniae is a highly contagious respiratory disease in pigs responsible for major economic losses in swine industry with worldwide distribution. It is estimated that the economic damage per pig is up to € 14 per pig in the EU.

Current solutions with commercially available vaccines, antibiotic treatments and management measures are not solving the problem. With the growing emergence of antibiotic resistance and rising consumer demands concerning food safety, vaccination to prevent APP is of increasing relevance. There is an industrial need for an improved vaccine: a safe and efficient vaccine that offers complete protection against all serotypes. Despite all the research performed in the last years such a vaccine has not yet been developed and reached the market.

Our vaccine is a polyvalent vaccine conferring protection against all relevant APP serotypes (up to now 18 serotypes are known). Specific sugar moieties of APP are expressed recombinantly on the surface of vector bacteria.

Using our prototype vaccine Salmonella against one serotype of APP in pigs resutlted in a highly reduced lung lesion score compared to unvaccinated pigs proving the efficacy of our vaccine. Currently we are further modifiying our vaccine bacteria to cover further APP serotypes.

Malcisbo AG, Wagistrasse 27a, CH-8952 Schlieren, Phone: +41 44 732 22 00,