Preclinical development of RNA-based influenza-vaccines

Preclinical development of RNA-based influenza-vaccines

Despite decades of work in the field of vaccine development, seasonal influenza still poses a significant threat to public health. In the United States alone, 41,000 people die from influenza infections every year, making the virus the seventh most common cause of death there. In addition, there are regular virus pandemics which lead to a significant increase in the number of cases and mortality rates. Should an uncontrolled influenza pandemic occur, the United States are expected to suffer an economic loss of approximately 150-170 billion dollars. The goal of this project is to develop optimized RNA-based vaccines that can induce the broadest possible immunity against many influenza subtypes. Its strategy is a modular RNA-vaccine-approach which, through a combination of well-selected epitopes, induces both protective T-cell immunity as well as neutralizing antibody responses. Achieving the following objectives will be pursued within the project period:

  • RNA vaccine-modules that, by integrating cross-strain consensus sequences, induce broad protective T-cell responses against a wide range of different influenza strains
  • RNA vaccines that lead to an efficient induction of B-cell responses against epitopes which are as conserved as possible, and which in turn induce hetero-subtypic protection against various different influenza virus variants
  • Preclinical vaccine efficacy data against different influenza virus subtypes in an animal model

The successful implementation of the project forms the basis for clinical testing of the innovative vaccine approach, which is due to take place after the project is finished.

Keywords 

  • Infectious diseases
  • RNA vaccines
  • Influenza vaccine

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