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:11/17/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions ... has joined its Board of Directors. ... Board after recently retiring from the partnership at TPG ... 107 companies with over $140 Billion in revenue.  He ... improvement across all the TPG companies, from 1997 to ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... interface solutions, today announced expansion of its TDDI ... touch controller and display driver integration (TDDI) ... smartphones. These new TDDI products add to the ... resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  Arxspan has entered into an agreement ... for use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of ... partnership will support the institute,s efforts to electronically ... information internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab ... the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... new market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product ... (PCR, Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach ... in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% during the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics ... (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) ... Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 --> ... report released by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive ... CAGR of 17.5% during the period between 2014 and ... Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and ... testing market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) ... remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) ... B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November ... 2015, which will result in the issuance of ... the issuance of such shares, there will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology: