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Adenovirus Vector Technology: Next Generation Systems for Medical Therapy

Final Report Summary - AD-VEC (Adenovirus Vector Technology: Next Generation Systems for Medical Therapy)

Project Objectives
The overarching aim of the AD-VEC consortium was to exploit the vast array of adenoviruses (AdVs) that exist in nature and harness their potential as vectors in medical applications to go beyond state-of-the-art through derivation and analysis of new vector technology. This was to be achieved through the improvement of our fundamental knowledge of adenovirus phylogeny, biology and pathology in order to explore them as vectors in areas of unmet clinical need such as cardiovascular disease, oncology and infectious disease.
The major objectives of AD-VEC were therefore:
1. Provision of adenovirus genomes from novel rare human and non-human adenoviruses and engineering of these genomes to develop high quality recombinant adenovirus vectors expressing reporter genes.
2. Detailed evaluation of novel adenovirus vectors with respect to infectivity, receptor usage, tropism, and the interaction with the blood and immune system.
3. Evaluation of novel vectors at the pre-clinical level in areas of unmet clinical need.
These three key objectives enabled excellence in adenovirus research amongst the AD-VEC consortium members through the creation of a synergistic and unique opportunity in this research field. The synergies crossed academic and industrial boundaries to create access to a pipeline of activity that included basic virology, new assay development, novel preclinical models, pre-clinical manufacture and vector testing. This provided empowerment to the research teams through synergistic industry/academia collaborations developed towards a common goal, i.e. exploiting adenoviruses for medical therapy.
Progress towards Objectives
Scientifically, we achieved the isolation and characterization of novel adenovirus vectors. AD-VEC was able to ensure their complete assessment in terms of structure, gene therapy and vaccine potential and ability to be engineered and produced through effective manufacturing processes. We have published the research relating to one of these viruses, the other will be published once commercial decisions are made. Logistically, the team worked very well together bringing in expertise from academic and company environments to ensure the efficient selection of adenoviruses for vector development and assessment.

Final Results and Impact
• Novel vectors for vaccine & gene therapy strategies generated and adenoviruses identified.
• Novel viruses and their potential as new vectors for vaccine & gene therapy that are fully characterised. One vector has been published, the other is commercially sensitive and will be subject to patent review and future publication.
• A series of innovative and scientifically advancing ER projects that lead to original papers and reviews for ERs and PIs.
• Long term collaborative opportunities for adenovirus researchers both in academia and industry to foster innovative and high level adenovirus projects at the basic and translational level. Another ITN has gone in with four of the five partners. Janssen and Batavia continue to collaborate as a result of this project. There is an academic collaboration between Budapest and UMEA regarding receptor usage of simian adenoviruses.
• Excellent career opportunities for ERs both within and outside adenovirus research, with a breadth of insights into maximising career opportunities and effective career decision making.
• Broad dissemination of novel Adenovirus knowledge acquired during the AD-VEC programme via significant public outreach efforts by ERs as Marie Curie ambassadors and PIs.

AD-VEC Consortium
The AD-VEC consortium comprised 5 partners who engaged throughout the programme, representing both research and academia, and industry. The project partners were from the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Hungary and Sweden. The IAPP is coordinated by Prof Andrew H Baker, formerly of the University of Glasgow, UK and now of the University of Edinburgh, UK. In October 2015 the University of Edinburgh assumed the role of Coordinator. The partners and their contact information can be found on the AD-VEC web pages:

AD-VEC IAPP began on 1st March 2013 and its duration was 48 months. AD-VEC was made possible by 100% grant funding from the European Commission’s Marie Curie Actions programme. The total eligible costs of AD-VEC amount to 1.95M €.

Network Website
A public website for AD-VEC was been maintained throughout the period by the Institute for Veterinary Medical Research to reflect the latest network training events and publications. The URL for the website is