Leti, a research institute of CEA Tech, in collaboration with CEA’s Fundamental Research Division and INSERM, has developed a new vaccine approach for HIV based on engineered lipid nanoparticles that deliver p24 – a viral protein that is key to an HIV vaccine – and optimize the CpG adjuvant’s effect.
Until now, p24-based vaccines have shown limited effectiveness because of an insufficient immune response to this antigen in HIV patients. Based on its Lipidots® delivery platform, CEA-Leti’s new approach improves immunogenicity against the p24 HIV protein by loading it and an immunostimulant agent onto nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs). This may be a first step for a new HIV vaccine that also would include additional components of the virus.
Lipidots® is a versatile nano-delivery platform that encapsulates drugs and/or imaging agents in tiny droplets of oil and delivers them to targeted cells in the body for patient treatment or diagnosis. The small size of the Lipidots NLCs, approximately 100nm in diameter, allows them to enter the body’s lymphatic vessels, which carry them to the lymph nodes where they trigger a stronger immune response.
The results of the research project were published in npj Vaccines in October 2018 in an article titled “Overcoming immunogenicity issues of HIV p24 antigen by the use of innovative nanostructured lipid carriers as delivery systems: evidences in mice and non-human primates”.
In the article, CEA-Leti demonstrated that with mice and non-human primates this new approach significantly enhanced immune responses against p24 by increasing specific antibody production and T-cell activation, when associated with Lipidots NLCs delivering the CpG immunostimulant. Indeed, the lipid carriers are able to protect the CpG nucleic acids from the extracellular environment and to deliver it intracellularly directly into the dendritic cells, the antigen-presenting cells that mediate the induced immune responses.
“Despite a major effort by the scientific community to develop HIV vaccines, the virus continues to infect people every day,” said Fabrice Navarro, head of CEA-Leti’s Microfluidic Systems and Bio-Engineering Lab. “Vaccine candidates face immunological obstacles that can be overcome only by introducing innovations in the design of vaccine formulations. CEA-Leti and its partners have demonstrated that its lipid nanoparticles associated with p24 trigger both the body’s creation of antibodies, and the cellular response, which activates T lymphocytes.”
CEA-Leti’s research partners on this study also include IDMIT and IAB-INSERM U1209.
About CEA-Leti (France)
Leti, a technology research institute at CEA Tech, is a global leader in miniaturization technologies enabling smart, energy-efficient and secure solutions for industry. Founded in 1967, Leti pioneers micro-& nanotechnologies, tailoring differentiating applicative solutions for global companies, SMEs and startups. CEA-Leti tackles critical challenges in healthcare, energy and digital migration. From sensors to data processing and computing solutions, CEA-Leti’s multidisciplinary teams deliver solid expertise, leveraging world-class pre-industrialization facilities. With a staff of more than 1,900, a portfolio of 2,700 patents, 91,500 sq. ft. of cleanroom space and a clear IP policy, the institute is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. CEA-Leti has launched 60 startups and is a member of the Carnot Institutes network. This year, the institute celebrates its 50th anniversary. Follow us on www.leti-cea.com and @CEA_Leti.
CEA Tech is the technology research branch of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), a key player in innovative R&D, defence & security, nuclear energy, technological research for industry and fundamental science, identified by Thomson Reuters as the second most innovative research organization in the world. CEA Tech leverages a unique innovation-driven culture and unrivalled expertise to develop and disseminate new technologies for industry, helping to create high-end products and provide a competitive edge.
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