Seven European laboratories have associated to evaluate the potential of defective HSV vectors, including helper-free HSV amplicons, as vaccine for the delivery of foreign antigens. The model antigens will be derived from human viruses of high public health concern, such as HCV, HIV-1 and HPV-16, each causing significant morbidity and mortality and substantial economic burden. No effective vaccines are available to prevent or treat these viral infections. To this end we plan to determine the conditions required to optimise delivery, expression and presentation of foreign antigens, including the in vivo synthesis of empty virus-like HCV and HPV-16 particles. Significant innovations will be the use of a unique in its nature vector (the amplicon), never used before, as vaccine vector and the attempt to manipulate the immune response by attracting monocytes to sites of infection and inducing their differentiation into dendritic cells.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
OX3 9DU Oxford