Advancing the technological readiness level of a biologically-contained vaccine against SARS CoV-2
The aims of this project are (i) to take the first transition steps towards clinical trial phase I, and (ii) to secure intellectual property rights for the core technology of our unique vaccine platform, which is based on genetically engineered bacteria, with a view to containing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Background and scientific basis
This novel vaccine platform is based on recombinant spores ofBacillus subtilisthat germinate in the small intestine and display a chosen antigen to elicit humoral and cellular immune responses. This technology has several advantages: safety (B. subtilisis a probiotic), no temperature-controlled cold chain required,low-cost production, oral application, easy adaptation to other pathogens, consistent with GMO regulations (self-contained, marker-less).
Problem and approach to solution
The manufacturing and distribution of current vaccines is a complex and expensive affair. After successful demonstration of the vaccine-induced protective immunity of theB. subtilisplatform, we will advance to testing the safety of the vaccine in healthy human individuals taking the following steps: securing intellectual property rights for the technology with the support of Unitectra, University of Zurich, initiating the process for early clinical development with the support of Markus Ehrat (EK Biosciences and Innosuisse mentor).
Expected output and contribution to tackling the pandemic
The step from successful demonstration of the efficacy of a vaccine candidate in laboratory animals to its broad application among the human population is often challenging and requires the support of various experts. This implementation project addresses important issues towards this goal and will therefore strongly contribute to the successful completion of the ongoing research project. Specifically, it will create a versatile vaccine platform that can be used to control current and future pandemics, not only in developed countries but also in places with limited infrastructure, small budgets and few trained health professionals.
NRP 78 research project