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Dendritic Cell-Targeted Nanovaccine for SARS-CoV-2 with Incorporated Immune Potentiators

During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, nanoscale vaccine technologies (e.g., mRNA vaccines) have proven superiority over conventional vaccines in terms of production speed and modularity. Unfortunately, the restricted global distribution results in vaccine inequity that significantly contributes to the virus's continuous spreading as vaccine allocation to developing countries are highly influenced by politics, cost, and scalability. For instance, the distribution of vaccines that require greater logistical efforts, such as cold chain delivery and complex vaccine administration by healthcare authorities, faces a challenge, especially in countries with restricted resources. 

A unique vaccine platform against COVID-19, which co-delivers SARS-CoV-2 peptide antigens, adjuvants, and immunosuppression modulators into dendritic cells (DC), resulting in a more potent, cost-efficient, and not cold-chain dependent nanovaccine that can be easily administrated also in less developed countries.

• Long shelf-life and suitable to be stored as a powder (i.e. lighter and cheaper to ship and distribute)
• Bioinformatic allocation of unique immunogenic peptides (and not a whole protein) to be delivered to antigen-presenting cells (APC) to activate coordinated humoral and cellular immunities 
• Targeting DC using mannose anchored on the surface of NV results in an extensive delivery of antigen peptides ready to be presented by DC 
• Adjuvants and immunosuppression modulators incorporated in the NV to maximize the production of antibodies showing cross-reactivity among different variants and to ensure the destruction of infected cells
• May be modified to be used to combat other infectious pathogens (e.g. viruses, bacteria).
• Preclinical studies validated humoral and cellular immune cell activation against specific pathogens 
• The ability to expand the host effector T and B cells was proven to produce neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and its known variants.
• The triple-delivery of SARS-CoV-2 specific antigens fraction, TLR agonists, and siRNA (siPD-L1/TGF-β) to the same DC enabled an efficient presentation of the SARS-CoV-2 specific antigens, which led to a more potent immune response than the NV without the encapsulated siRNA.
Provisional Patent Application