Nanoparticle based shot could boost efficacy, accelerate production of seasonal flu vaccines

Nanoparticle based shot could boost efficacy, accelerate production of seasonal flu vaccines

  • May 25, 2021

Key to the vaccine’s success is a liposome the developers created called cobalt-porphyrin-phospholipid, or CoPoP. They are tiny spherical sacs, which are small enough to be considered nanoparticles, and they form the backbone of the vaccine platform.

Described in a study published on May 24 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the experimental vaccine has reportedly proven effective in preclinical studies.

“The results are very encouraging​,” says the study’s senior author, Jonathan Lovell, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University at Buffalo, New York.

Liposomes spontaneously convert virus proteins that prompt immune responses into a more potent nanoparticle format, said the team behind the development of the vaccine. 

“This conversion is advantageous because the dissolved proteins attach to the surface of the liposomes, where the proteins enhance the immune system’s response to disease,”​ says senior author, Matthew Miller, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University, a public research university in Ontario, Canada. 

In summary, the experimental flu vaccine, according to the research team behind the study, has the potential to:

  • Improve the effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines
  • Take less time to produce large quantities because, unlike most seasonal flu vaccines, it is not created in embryonated chicken eggs
  • Use smaller doses, thereby increasing vaccine supplies, which can be critical given the unpredictable nature of influenza.

capsimmunesystem.org