Development of a novel nanoparticle formulation for mRNA based therapeutic vaccination against HIV

  • D'haese, Sigrid (PhD Student)
  • Vanham, Guido (Promotor)
  • Aerts, Joeri (Promotor)
  • Allard, Sabine D. (Copromotor)

Project Details

Layman's description

Globally, over 37 million people are infected with the human immune deficiency virus (HIV). Daily antiretroviral therapy is the only option to prevent the progression to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Although there is a wide variety of antiretrovirals, the therapy remains expensive with high costs for the patients but also for society. Moreover, even the latest antiretrovirals do not come without side-effects. Therefore, to reduce the cost and to decrease side effects, there is a need for a long acting treatment. One example of such a treatment is therapeutic vaccination. This will not prevent HIV but will boost the patient’s own immune system to suppress the virus. In addition, more and more effort is put into finding a preventive vaccine for HIV as well. A new method of vaccination is the injection of mRNA, the genetic material that is responsible for protein production. This approach was shown to be equally good or better compared to current vaccination strategies. One of the challenges with mRNA is that it is fragile and unstable. Therefore, it is necessary to package it in a small nanoparticle to prevent degradation. We developed a new nanoparticle, to deliver mRNA to the body. In this project we will investigate the ability of the nanoparticle, carrying mRNA encoding HIV proteins, to instigate or boost immune response to the virus. Ultimately, we hope to reach a situation where the patients can live without cART for prolonged periods of time.
Effective start/end date11/04/19 → …

IWETO expertise domain

  • B780-tropical-medicine


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