Scientists at the University of Michigan and NanoBio Corporation, a university spin off, have demonstrated a pretty remarkable ability to illicit an immune response to an inactive virus given intranasally in an animal model. Reporting in the latest issue of Clinical Vaccine Immunology, investigators gave nasal nanoemulsion droplets containing inactivated vaccinia virus to a bunch of mice, and saw a remarkable build up of the immune system. There is a growing enthusiasm in the scientific community that such nasal conferred immunity could be used to develop a new generation of vaccines against a wide range of viruses and bacteria, including influenza, hepatitis , RSV, anthrax and HIV.
Vaccinia virus is related to smallpox virus and builds immunity against it.
The new vaccine confers a high level of safety because it contains inactivated vaccinia virus, not the live virus contained in current smallpox vaccines, according to the scientists. Live viruses can elicit adverse reactions; yet previous attempts to use inactivated virus have failed to rouse an adequate immune response against smallpox, the scientists said.
The current study in mice demonstrates that NanoBio’s killed-virus vaccine elicits a robust immune response because it delivers immune-alerting antigens directly to the lining of the nasal mucosa, where the virus first enters the body. Immune cells inside the nose immediately recognize the foreign invader and quickly build an immune response against it, a process known as “mucosal” immunity.
Mucosal immunity provides a critical first response against respiratory viruses, yet injected vaccines do not induce mucosal immunity, said James R. Baker Jr., M.D. founder and chairman of NanoBio Corporation. NanoBio is a spin-off from the University of Michigan.
“The key finding is that we have validated in animals a new means of immunization that produces a unique and highly effective immune response without the potential risks of smallpox vaccination that are no longer considered acceptable in the population at large,” said Baker.
More about the company’s NanoStat™ technology that was used in the experiment:
The NanoBio NanoStat™ technology employs a physical process to disrupt the outer membrane of pathogenic organisms by fusing with and killing lipid-containing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, spores and protozoa. NanoStat technology derived products are selectively toxic to microbes while non-irritating to skin and mucous membranes, as demonstrated in animal and human studies conducted by NanoBio. Unlike antibiotics, the NanoStat technology mechanism of action employs a physical process to disrupt the outer membrane of pathogenic organisms, resulting in virtually no risk of the development of drug resistance. The technology provides broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacteria, enveloped viruses, fungi, spores and protozoa.
With respect to the company’s mucosal vaccines, the nanoemulsion acts as a carrier for a vaccine antigen by penetrating through pores and hair shafts in the nose and facilitating the uptake of the antigen by dendritic cells. This results in a significant systemic and mucosal immune response, involving the production of specific IgG and IgA antibody as well as cellular immunity.
Technology page: NanoStat™ Platform…
UMHS Press Release: Nanoemulsion vaccines effective against two new targets…
Press release: Nasal Vaccine for Smallpox Confers High Levels of Immunity without Safety Risks…