05 November 2020

The dose is lower, the effect is higher

The innovative nanoparticle-based vaccine initiates the production of 10 times more virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice than in people who have had COVID-19. The candidate vaccine, developed by scientists from the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle (UW Medicine), was transferred to two companies for clinical refinement.

Compared with the introduction of a solution of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, on which many potential vaccines against COVID-19 are based, the new vaccine with nanoparticles gave a high titer of neutralizing antibodies in mice even when the dose was reduced by six times. In addition, the researchers noted a pronounced B-cell response after immunization, which is responsible for the formation of immune memory and provides a long-lasting effect of the vaccine. When administered to non-human primates, the nanoparticle vaccine resulted in the production of neutralizing antibodies aimed at several different sites of the "spike" protein. This will help protect the body from mutated strains of the virus, if they occur. The "spike" is part of the coronavirus infection mechanism.


An artistic illustration of an ultrapotent vaccine having 60 fragments of coronavirus protein (red) on a nanobase (blue-white).

The candidate vaccine was developed based on a structure invented at UW Medicine: it is a self-assembling protein nanoparticle that displays 60 copies of the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 protein in a highly immunogenic matrix. The molecular structure of the vaccine is roughly similar to the structure of the virus, which may explain its increased ability to elicit an immune response.


The scheme of production of an ultra-efficient nanovaccine.

Hundreds of candidate vaccines against COVID-19 are being developed around the world today. Many of them require large doses, complex production, as well as transportation and storage in a cold room. A vaccine that is safe, effective at low doses, easy to manufacture and stable outside the refrigerator could be used for vaccination against COVID-19 on a global scale.

The candidate vaccine described in this study is licensed by the University of Washington on a non-exclusive and royalty-free basis during a pandemic.

Article by A.C.Walls et al. Elicitation of potential neutralizing antibody responses by designed protein nanoparticle vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 is published in the journal Cell.

Aminat Adzhieva, portal "Eternal Youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of UW Medicine: Ultrapotent COVID-19 vaccine designed via computer.

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