Background: Vaccine development is considered one of the most successful public health interventions in history. The challenge of safely enhancing new vaccines’ immunogenicity presents an exciting opportunity for bringing cutting-edge immunoengineering research into the clinic. While pathogen-derived adjuvants present a variety of safety concerns that limit their clinical application, human-derived adjuvants can leverage our emerging understanding of the immune system to generate safe and protective immune responses.
Technology: Julie Champion and Timothy Chang from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech have designed a novel nanoparticle vaccine delivery system that incorporates antibodies as human-derived adjuvants to enhance the immune response of protein nanoparticles. Proof-of-concept studies utilized model ovalbumin protein nanoparticles coated with immunoglobulin M (IgM). In vivo mouse studies showed that the IgM coating significantly enhanced anti-viral Th1 and memory T cell responses compared to uncoated ovalbumin nanoparticles.
While protein nanoparticles were used as a proof-of-concept, this antibody coating platform technology could theoretically be adapted to any type of vaccine particulate, including currently-licensed inactivated pathogen vaccines, to boost and extend the lifetime of protective anti-viral Th1 responses.
Potential Commercial Applications: The proposed design can be extended to the use of any nanoparticulates coated with other classes of antibodies to create more effective vaccinations. As the effector functions of other classes of antibodies are elucidated, different combinations of antibody coatings could be used to customize the desired immune responses on a pathogen-by-pathogen basis. According to a recent report, the global vaccine market was estimated at $32.5 billion in 2015 and is expected to double by 2024. Effective adjuvant strategies will be critical for the development of tomorrow’s vaccines. The untapped potential of antibodies as adjuvants presents a unique opportunity to develop the next generation of safe and long-lasting protection against a wide range of pathogens.
Benefits / Advantages:
Enhance vaccine immunogenicity
Prolong vaccine protection
Reduce safety risks associated with pathogen-derived vaccine adjuvants
Antibody coating platform technology can be adapted to any vaccine particulate (i.e. synthetic nanoparticles, inactivated pathogens, etc.)