A safe and effective vaccine is the only way to stop the spread of HIV, especially in developing countries. Despite enormous efforts of numerous groups no convincing protective vaccine against HIV-1 has been generated so far. We suggest an alternative appr oach in HIV vaccine development: to test virus like particles composed of primary HIV proteins or recombinant proteins with native conformation which are incorporated into liposomes of the size of virions and with a lipid composition similar to the virus m embrane. The aim of the project is to develop this concept from the laboratory to proof-of concept studies in non-human primates. We recently established a novel large scale technology for generation of liposomes with desired properties and within this pro ject will adapt this technology to incorporate HIV-1 proteins into liposomes thereby stabilising their native conformation. Resulting virosomes carrying HIV proteins will be utilised as prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine against HIV-1 infection. Since th is vaccine is cheap to produce, stable and might be administered in a needle free format, this approach ideally meets the specific needs of developing countries.
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