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CoviNanoVax: Design of a mRNA vaccine based on polymeric nanoparticles targeting dendritic cells

Description: CoviNanoVax arose from our previous experience in the development of polymeric nanosystems loaded with genetic material selectively targeting dendritic cells (DCs). These nanosystems will be used here as vaccines for the prevention of CoVid19. A coding mRNA will be encapsulated for the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigenic proteins, so that once the nanoparticles are injected into a healthy patient, they will selectively target and transfect DCs. As an mRNA encoding only the antigenic proteins, and taking into account that retrotranscriptase will not be present, the safety of the vaccine will be very high and, at the same time, since the mRNA is a highly antigenic macromolecule, it will develop a specific immune response to immunize healthy but susceptible people and protect them against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

  • Centre: Universidad Ramón Llull (IQS).
  • IPs: Salvador Borrós, Cristina Fornaguera.
  • Budget: 193,000.00 €.
  • ISCIII’s reference: COV20/01100.

More information: SCOPE OF THE CALL: Vaccine development, efficacy and applicability. EXPECTED IMPACT: Through this project, it is expected to achieve the development of a new nanosystem for vaccination of the healthy but susceptible population to develop the disease in future episodes of infection, to prevent CoVid19 disease. The vaccine, based on polymeric nanoparticles that encapsulate mRNA encoding nucleocapsid epitopes as an antigen, will be advantageous compared to other vaccination strategies, because by using an mRNA as an antigen instead of protein material or the attenuated virus itself, its Safety will be guaranteed and, in addition, its efficacy is expected to be high since mRNA is a very antigenic macromolecule by itself. Furthermore, it should be noted that we have already demonstrated in previous studies the ability of nanoparticles to specifically target antigen presenting cells. Therefore, we have a project that is expected to have a real impact on society in the medium term, to protect against future SARS-CoV-2 infections. Currently, the applicant group has no ongoing activities related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus or CoVid19 disease, although the participating groups as collaborators do have long experience in developing treatments for various coronaviruses.

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