February 26, 2024

New Nanobody COVID Vaccine Design Is Easier To Make, Doesn’t Need Cold Storage

The researchers, led by Hidde Ploegh, PhD, and first authors Novalia Pishesha, PhD, and Thibault Harmand, PhD, believe their innovation could help fill global vaccination gaps which the very same technology might be applied to vaccines against other illness.
In mice, the vaccine elicited strong immune actions versus SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. It was successfully freeze-dried and later reconstituted without loss of effectiveness. In tests, it remained powerful and stable for at least seven days at space temperature.
Unlike present COVID-19 vaccines, the new design is completely protein-based, making it easy for numerous centers to make. It has 2 parts: antibodies derived from alpacas, called nanobodies, and the portion of the viruss spike protein that binds to receptors on human cells.
” We could also attach the entire spike protein or other parts of the virus,” keeps in mind Pishesha. “And we can change the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 versions quickly and easily.”
Shown at far left, the vaccine includes a part of the spike proteins receptor-binding domain (RBD), shown in dark blue, attached to a single domain antibody-fragment that recognizes class II significant histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins, revealed as orange ovals. These conjugates house to antigen-presenting cells (APCs), which then procedure and display the RBD to T and B cells. This results in a robust immune reaction, generating both T cells and high titers of reducing the effects of antibodies that are protective throughout SARS-CoV-2 variants. Credit: Novalia Pishesha, Boston Childrens Hospital
Targeting antigen-presenting cells
The nanobodies are the crucial part of the vaccine technology. They are specifically designed to target antigen-presenting cells, crucial cells in the body immune system, by homing to class II significant histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens on the cells surface area. This brings the organization end of the vaccine– in this case, the section of the spike protein– directly to the very cells that will “show” it to other immune cells, sparking a more comprehensive immune action.
Present COVID-19 vaccines stimulate production of the spike protein at the website in the body where theyre injected, and are presumed to stimulate antigen-presenting cells indirectly, states Ploegh.
” But securing the intermediary and talking straight to antigen presenting cells is much more efficient,” he states. “The secret sauce is the targeting.”
In experiments in mice, the vaccine elicited robust humoral resistance versus SARS-CoV-2, stimulating high quantities of reducing the effects of antibodies against the spike protein fragment. It likewise generated strong cellular resistance, stimulating the T assistant cells that rally other immune defenses.
A production advantage
Since the vaccine is a protein, instead of a messenger RNA like the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, it lends itself much more to large-scale production.
” We dont need a lot of the fancy innovation and knowledge that you require to make an mRNA vaccine,” states Harmand. “Skilled employees are currently a bottleneck for production of the COVID vaccine, whereas biopharma has a lot of experience producing protein-based rehabs at scale.”
This could potentially allow production of the vaccine at many sites all over the world, near to where it would be utilized. The team has actually submitted a patent on their technology and now wishes to engage pharmaceutical or biotech business to take their work into more testing and, ultimately, a clinical trial.
” It may be that preliminary application is something else other than COVID-19,” states Ploegh. “This research study was the proof of idea that our protein-based technique works well.”
Referral: “A class II MHC-targeted vaccine elicits resistance versus SARS-CoV-2 and its variants” by Novalia Pishesha, Thibault J. Harmand, Paul W. Rothlauf, Patrique Praest, Ryan K. Alexander, Renate van den Doel, Mariel J. Liebeskind, Maria A. Vakaki, Nicholas McCaul, Charlotte Wijne, Elisha Verhaar, William Pinney III, Hailey Heston, Louis-Marie Bloyet, Marjorie Cornejo Pontelli, Ma. Xenia G. Ilagan, Robert Jan Lebbink, William J. Buchser, Emmanuel J. H. J. Wiertz, Sean P. J. Whelan, and Hidde L. Ploegh, 2 November 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.DOI: 10.1073/ pnas.2116147118.
This study was supported by Harvard Society of Fellows, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the NIH Directors Pioneer Award, and the European Virus Archive goes Global (EVAg) job. Co-authors Paul Rothlauf and Sean Whelan at Washington University have gotten unassociated financing assistance in sponsored research study agreements with Vir Biotechnology, AbbVie, and sAB therapeutics. The rest of the authors state no competing interests.

Protein-based vaccine generates strong immune responses in mice; method could be used for other diseases.
Presently available COVID vaccines need cold storage and advanced production capability, that makes it difficult to produce and distribute them commonly, especially in less developed nations. A brand-new kind of vaccine would possibly be much easier to produce and would not need refrigeration, report researchers at Boston Childrens Hospital in the November 2, 2021, issue of PNAS.

In mice, the vaccine elicited strong immune reactions versus SARS-CoV-2 and its versions. Revealed at far left, the vaccine consists of a portion of the spike proteins receptor-binding domain (RBD), shown in dark blue, attached to a single domain antibody-fragment that acknowledges class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins, revealed as orange ovals. The nanobodies are the crucial part of the vaccine innovation. They are specially developed to target antigen-presenting cells, important cells in the immune system, by homing to class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens on the cells surface. This brings the business end of the vaccine– in this case, the section of the spike protein– directly to the very cells that will “show” it to other immune cells, sparking a broader immune response.