Navigation Links
Innovative vaccines with nanotechnology

HCVAX is a European joint project that reaches out to develop a vaccine against hepatitis C based on nanotechnology. The German Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (Helmholtz-Zentrum fr Infektionsforschung, HZI) in Braunschweig and its department "Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology" is now a part of the transnational consortium with researchers from Germany, France and Switzerland.

More than 170 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) worldwide. Also in Europe this form of hepatitis is a big problem with three per cent of the population affected. The virus is transmitted in operations such as transplantations or by the re-use of syringes for drug usage. Anti-viral treatments are very expensive, have serious side effects and are only effective for some patients. Most of the patients carry the infection for the rest of their lives, with the threat of later developing liver cirrhosis and cancer. Certainly, the most effective way to combat hepatitis C would be a vaccine against the virus but to date no efficacious vaccine exists.

"We will pursue a completely new approach to develop a HCV vaccine," says Prof. Carlos A. Guzmn, head of the Vaccinology Department at the HZI. With the help of innovative, biocompatible nanogels part of the genetic information of the virus is brought into the body by so-called "RNA replicons". The synthetic nanogels have a diameter of only a few nanometres and are composed of a biopolymer matrix. Immune cells will take up the nanogels with the genetic information and will produce harmless components of HCV. The immune cell then responds to those foreign structures and will generate memory cells: with this, the vaccination would be successful and from then on one would be protected against an infection with pathogen HCV.

By using novel drug amplifiers, so-called adjuvants, the immune response shall be more efficient and targeted. "The HZI has a long-standing expertise in this field. We will incorporate this knowledge into the project to develop more effective vaccines," says Guzmn. "We want to identify those adjuvants that are most eligible for a use in the nanogel composition. The targeted transport to certain defence cells shall guarantee an optimal immune response."

To exclude side effects, potential vaccine candidates have to be tested in several systems. Promising structures will then be selected for further clinical development.

The consortium consists of two companies, three academic institutions and one clinic. They combine their expertise on the field of nanotechnology, biochemistry, immunology, vaccine development and clinical research. "Beyond that we expect that these novel vaccination strategies can be expanded onto the clinical management of other diseases," says Guzmn.

Funding is granted for the next three years from the "EuroNanoMed Joint Transnational Initiative" of the European Union. The German Ministry for Research and Education is funding the project in Germany.

The Partners:

Federal Department of Economic Affairs (Eidgenssisches Volkswirtschaftsdepartement), Mittelhusern, Switzerland (coordinator)

Medipol SA, Lausanne, Switzerland

Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (Helmholtz-Zentrum fr Infektionsforschung GmbH), Braunschweig, Germany

EDI GmbH, Reutlingen, Germany

Hpital Cochin, Paris, France


Contact: Dr. Bastian Dornbach
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Related biology news :

1. Grand Challenges Canada announces innovative rising stars in global health
2. MSU plant scientist named one of the nations most innovative researchers
3. How natures best ideas inspire innovative new technologies
4. U of M scientist gets 5-year, $10 million grant to direct innovative HIV research program
5. Philippine Foundation awarded grant for innovative bone health awareness program
6. Young Caltech engineers recognized for innovative work in disease diagnostic technologies
7. Research team honored for innovative science to advance cancer research
8. VaxTrac Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Innovative Global Health Research
9. LiXEdrom: Innovative measuring chamber for X-ray study of liquid jets
10. NSF funds innovative approach to biomimetic nanofiber bone regeneration
11. International AIDS Society announces inaugural recipients of innovative HIV research awards
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/5/2017)... Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator ... of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified ... architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises ... over 15 million users across the financial services industry, ... product suites and physical access represent a growing portion ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program ... in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life ... for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan ... The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... At ... announced Dr. Christopher Stubbs, a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, ... Stubbs was a member of the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available ... bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: