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A “Universal” Influenza Vaccine through Synthetic, Dendritic Cell-Targeted, Self-Replicating RNA Vaccines

Objective

Although vaccination is the cornerstone of prophylaxis, current vaccines provide only moderate protection. Most employ inactivated or protein-based, including multimeric antigen, vaccines requiring annual updating. Their limited antigen loads provide limited capacity for inducing robust immune defences, without assurance that both humoral and cell mediated (CMI) responses, as well as durable immunity, will be induced. Replicating vaccines may provide several rounds of antigen production, increasing potential for humoral and CMI defence induction. Neither live, attenuated nor vector vaccines can be produced synthetically, being reliant on cell culture or egg production. They cannot be targeted to immune cells; interference from pre-existing immunity is also a risk.
Efficacious, synthetic vaccines would be the answer, as seen with self-replicating RNA replicon (RepRNA) technology – these replicate and translate without producing infectious progeny. RepRNA produced in vitro is combined with synthetic delivery vehicles targeting dendritic cell (DC) receptors –essential for efficient immune defences– with glycoconjugate ligands. The UniVax project promotes the first synergising of approaches with synthetic targeted delivery systems for RepRNA. The innovation integrates technologies of (i) RepRNA vaccines, (ii) lipoplexes (biodegradable lipid/adjuvant/RNA for cytosolic delivery), (iii) polyplexes (biodegradable, polysaccharide vehicles), (iv) glycoconjugates targeting DC receptors, (v) adjuvants with well-defined molecular targets and effector functions. This promotes efficacious mucosal and systemic responses, ensuring for the first time both humoral and CMI responses. Components developed in PANFLUVAC and Replixcel projects allow UniVax to create the first Universal” Flu vaccine prototypes. This innovative approach creates the first synthetic vaccine of its kind, promoting consortium SMEs to a unique position of world leaders.
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Coordinator

EIDGENOESSISCHES DEPARTEMENT DES INNERN

Address

Inselgasse 1
3003 Bern

Switzerland

Activity type

Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 1 181 117

Administrative Contact

Caroline De St. Simon (Mrs.)

Participants (10)

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OZ BIOSCIENCES SAS

France

EU Contribution

€ 535 900

SYNTHAUR OOO

Russia

EU Contribution

€ 187 360

VITAMFERO SA

France

EU Contribution

€ 439 800

AMVAC RESEARCH GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 468 640

MEDITOX S.R.O

Czechia

EU Contribution

€ 413 277

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 467 430

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 683 534

HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM FUR INFEKTIONSFORSCHUNG GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 618 628

UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 735 771

TP21 GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 268 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 601738

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 October 2013

  • End date

    30 September 2018

Funded under:

FP7-HEALTH

  • Overall budget:

    € 7 803 864,40

  • EU contribution

    € 5 999 457

Coordinated by:

EIDGENOESSISCHES DEPARTEMENT DES INNERN

Switzerland