The MuNanoVac STREP project will assess a new vaccine strategy to prevent HIV-1 infection based on a primo-vaccination using a biodegradable synthetic colloidal carrier made of poly-lactic acid (PLA) nanoparticles covered with adsorbed antigens.
The aim is to demonstrate that PLA nanoparticles are a perfect mucosal vaccine vehicle, immunogenic for both arms of immunity, adaptable to many types of antigens, easy and simple to produce. Such nanoparticle-based vaccine carriers will allow targeting dentritic cells or transporting the vaccine through skin or mucosal epithelial barriers. To amplify the mucosal immune response, the project will investigate the potential use of immuno-modulator molecules associated with different immunization routes and schedules.
Six main technical activities will be conducted in the project:
1) Elaborating a standardized formulation process of PLA nanoparticles with selected HIV-1 antigens, gag and trimeric gp140
2) Identifying the best adjuvant among four candidates to potentiate the mucosal immune responses induced by PLA formulations
3) Optimizing the uptake of nanoparticles by mucosa or skin and the orientation of the immune response
4) Defining the best immunization routes and schedules of nanoparticle formulation in presence or absence of immuno-modulators for immune responses
5) Testing safety and mucosal immunity of the two best combinations in rabbits and
6) Evaluating the vaccine strategy efficacy studies with rectal and vaginal challenge routes in non human primates.
Additional activities will include dissemination and exploitation of results, IPR and societal issues. The MuNanoVac project will contribute to advancing a promising vaccine approach for HIV, that could prove versatile enough for application to other poverty-related diseases e.g. Tuberculosis. With the proposed vaccine candidate, the project gives Europe a tremendous opportunity to gain leadership in the use of biodegradable nanoparticles for vaccine carriers.
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project