Adeno-associated virus-like particles offer potential as prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against cancer and infections, for example. The idea of using adeno-associated viruses (AAV) as a vaccine was developed in Medigene’s laboratories. The adeno-associated virus is non-pathogenic, i.e. it does not cause disease. The virus protein shell, the capsid, is suited for the production of so-called virus-like particles (VLP), which can be used as a basis for novel vaccines.
By inserting short antigenic peptides (B-cell epitopes) into the AAV capsid, a highly specific antibody reaction against selected target molecules can be induced. These antibodies can protect the body from disease (i.e. have a prophylactic effect) or act as a therapy against existing diseases.
Research is currently conducted into the application of AAVLP technology for the treatment of cancer and viral infections, also examining the possibility of using AAV libraries to systematically identify suitable vaccine candidates. The key benefit of this innovative technology is the possibility of transferring the mode of action of existing therapeutic antibodies directly into a vaccine.
This approach constitutes an interesting alternative to conventional vaccines and may also significantly widen the range of applications for vaccines against cancer and other diseases. In nonclinical studies, AAVLP-based vaccines candidates have shown promising data.
A preclinical long-term study completed in cooperation with Pennsylvania State University with the aim of demonstrating long-term cross-protection against various human papilloma virus (HPV) infections has recorded positive results.
The final results of the preclinical trial conducted in cooperation with Pennsylvania State University to demonstrate long-term protection against infection and cross-reactivity to various types of HPV are available. The data is positive and is expected to be published as soon as possible in the course of a scientific conference.