More than 60 million people are infected with HIV1, mostly in non-developed countries, and there is an urgent need for effective affordable treatment of HIV1 infections. The main objective of the project is to develop an efficient genetic vaccine candidate for therapeutic and preventive use against HIV/AIDS. This vaccine should be capable of inducing cell-mediated and humoral immunity against virus and virally infected cells in different phases of virus life-cycle. DNA vaccines could fulfil these requirements if rendered more efficient. To this aim, we will use the combination of complementary technologies brought in by four SMEs.
The novel DNA vaccination technology will combine:
(i) the restricted expression of the multi-epitope/multivalent HIV antigens in specific cells of the epidermis;
(ii) a micro-needle array based injection device for reproducible and efficient delivery into the epidermis;
(iii) the EPI-GTU® technology that allows strong and long term expression using segregation/partitioning function of the Bovine papillomavirus type 1;
(iv) the plasmo-VLP® technology that allow to express the immunogens within and onto virus-like-particles;
(v) the adjuvant effect of different cytokines.
The step-by-step combination of these technologies will be evaluated in the laboratories of the three academic partners by state of the art methods. The initial evaluation of vaccine efficacy will be performed in mice and pigs, and will be ultimately validated in cynomolgus monkeys. EPIVAC aims to conduct its pre-clinical development up to the GMP production and testing of vector batches that will be ready for evaluation in clinical trials.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project