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Influenza Fighter: Nanoparticle-based vaccine effective in preclinical studies

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Vaccines made from disease-fighting proteins may increase efficacy and accelerate production of seasonal flu vaccines

Buffalo, NY — An flu vaccine consisting of billions of small globular sac that carries proteins that fight infection throughout the body has proven effective in preclinical studies.

Vaccines have the following possibilities, as explained in a study published May 24 by the minutes of the National Academy of Sciences:

  • Improves the effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This usually works with a 40-60% chance.
  • Unlike most seasonal influenza vaccines, it is not produced in embryonated eggs, so mass production takes less time.
  • Use lower doses by increasing the supply of vaccines, which can be important given the unpredictable nature of influenza.

“The results are very encouraging,” said Dr. Jonathan Label, senior co-author of the study and associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University at Buffalo.

“Usually, influenza vaccines contain inactivated microorganisms that cause influenza or are based on weakened forms of influenza. The vaccines we are developing stimulate a strong immune response. It’s a recombinant protein nanoparticle vaccine, “says Ravel.

The key to the success of the vaccine is the cobalt-porphyrin-phospholipid, or liposome Lovell called CoPoP, created by a colleague.

These small spherical sacs, small enough to be considered nanoparticles, form the backbone of the pharmaceutical terminology known as the vaccine platform, which is the underlying technology used to develop multiple vaccines.

(Not part of this study, but the platform Clinical trial In Korea as a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. This is a partnership between POP Biotechnologies, a UB spin-off company co-founded by Lovell, and EuBiologics, a Korean biotechnology company. POP Biotechnologies is also working with Scripps Research to research the platform. Potential HIV vaccine.. )

Alone, these liposomes do not fight the disease. But they have a special talent. They spontaneously convert viral proteins that stimulate the immune response into a more potent nanoparticle format.

“This conversion is advantageous because the lysed protein attaches to the surface of the liposome, where it enhances the immune system’s response to disease,” said Senior Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University. The author, Dr. Matthew Miller, said.

In this study, researchers introduced a group of proteins known as hemagglutinin into CoPop liposomes. One particular hemagglutinin, known as trimer H3HA, elicited a strong immune response in mice.

“Nanoparticles carry trimeric H3HA to the body’s immune cells, stimulating them to react more violently to influenza,” said the lead author, a PhD candidate in Ravel’s lab. Zachalicia says.

In experiments involving the influenza virus strain H3N2, sera from vaccinated mice were injected into unvaccinated mice. The injection provided protection against H3N2. In experiments with ferrets containing the more modern H3N2 strain, the vaccine reduced the amount of virus in the upper respiratory tract of animals.

Even at doses as low as 2 nanograms, the vaccine provided the same level of protection as vaccines at doses usually measured in micrograms. This is about 1,000 times more.

“Dose-saving benefits are important because it means you can make more doses with less material,” said Dr. Bruce Davidson, an assistant professor of anesthesiology at UB’s Jacobs Medical College. “Simply put, CoPoP has the potential to provide better immune protection with less hemagglutinin than current vaccines.”

Vaccine platforms are also versatile.

Researchers were able to simultaneously bind 10 recombinant proteins representing different influenza virus strains to produce highly polyvalent nanoparticles. Administration of a dose of 5 nanograms to mice provided protection against the H5N1 influenza strain (more commonly known as avian influenza). This is a virus that epidemiologists say can cause a pandemic.

Funding to support this research includes the National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Institute of Health (CIHR) New Researcher Award from the Government of Ontario, the Physicians Services Inc. Research Trainee Fellowship, and the CIHR Canadian Graduate School Scholarship. Provided by.

Additional support was provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System, McGill University’s Electron Microscopy Facility, and the Canadian Innovation Foundation and the Quebec Government.

Lovell and co-author Wei-Chiao Huang are interested in POP Biotechnologies.

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