Argentine scientists advance in formulation of next-generation vaccines – Unidiversidad

Argentine scientists advance in formulation of next-generation vaccines - Unidiversidad

They work at the National University of La Plata, INTA, and the Leloir Institute Foundation. They are testing a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The preclinical results in mice were published in the international journal Frontiers in Immunology.

Andrea Gamarnik, head of the Leloir Institute Foundation’s Laboratory of Molecular Virology. Photo: INTA

Thanks to the strategic articulation between INTA, the National La Plata University (UNLP) and the Leloir Institute Foundation (FIL), the three institutions decided to join forces and signed an academic, scientific and development cooperation agreement with the idea of ​​accreditation. A government facility for vaccine production. about IncuINTA is a technical-organizational platform for the development of technological projects INTA is located at the Research Center for Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences (CICVyA) in Hurlingham, Buenos Aires.

“It is a synergetic alliance between scientists from Conicet from various fields of knowledge such as biotechnology, immunology and virology, which includes very important institutions in our country. “Based on the research we’ve started in our labs, it will allow for advancement into clinical stages in humans.” Andrea Gamarnik, doctor of biochemistry and head of the Fundación Instituto Leloir Molecular Virology Laboratory.

“Taking the current context where pandemic needs still need to be met, The aim will be to develop tools to prevent the effects of COVID-19 with the idea of ​​planning future projects. meeting local and regional needs,” added Gamarnik.

With the support of Conicet and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MINCyT), team of researchers working on fine-tuning to adapt the IncuINTA facility and obtain accreditation for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)a requirement to produce biological advances for use in humans and to carry out the early stages of clinical trials.

Once accredited, the IncuINTA facility will be able to manufacture products that can combat not only COVID-19 but also endemic diseases such as rabies, flu, dengue, rotavirus and even Chagas. And in the face of new pandemics or health emergencies, it will enable us to deliver rapid and coordinated responses.

“The 600-square-metre facility already exists and was put into operation in 2020.He pointed out Andrés Wigdorovitz, director of IncuINTA, adding: “It will be the only public plant that works with recombinant biologically active substances produced in mammalian cells and can be certified as a GMP body”.

a new vaccine

The scientific articulation between the three institutions also yielded “a promising formulation for a next-generation vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, with neutralizing capacity in a preclinical mouse model, comparable to – even higher – than those induced by vaccines. currently implemented, commented Daniela Hozbor, PhD in Biochemistry and researcher at Conicet at the Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (IBBM) in the Faculty of Exact Sciences at the National University of La Plata (UNLP). The study was published this month in the international scientific journal Frontiers in Immunology.

“After evaluating the different vaccine formulations that differ in protein S amount and composition from the Wuhan, Beta and Delta variants, “We determined that SARS-CoV-2, alone or in combination, works very well, the ancestral variant one containing two micrograms of trimeric and glycosylated protein S.”Hozbor, the lead author of the paper, said. “The results show it to be more responsive than most commercial versions in use today.” added.

Although Ómicron was not circulating at the time of the study, Hozbor emphasized that they are currently analyzing its capacity to neutralize against this dominant variant. “Preliminary data suggest that when used as a booster, the formulation induced, in some cases, neutralizing antibodies to Omicron at levels higher than those induced by the three current doses of vaccine,” he predicted.

Beyond results opening the door to innovation The new national COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been used as a pilot for the study to be larger. “This is the first success of a very ambitious project that includes: develop a manufacturing facility for human vaccines under a government orbit and can travel from basic research to phase 1 clinical trials,” concludes study author Gamarnik.

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