The still preclinical results obtained against Covid-19 from an original vaccine platform entirely developed by researchers at the Higher Institute of Health and based on the engineering of extracellular vesicles are positive. The latest data have just been published in the journal ‘Npj Vaccines’ of the Nature group.
In Sars-CoV-2 infection, the results show that, “using the N protein of the virus as an antigen, this method proved to be effective in reducing the levels of virus replication even more than 1,000 times in the lungs of laboratory mice , and this antiviral effect has been seen to persist even months after vaccination”. “This particular method of vaccination – explains Maurizio Federico, coordinator of the research – consists in introducing the immunogenic protein of interest (antigen) inside the extracellular vesicles naturally released by the muscle cells. The nanovesicles thus produced are able to spread in every tissue district, inducing a powerful cellular immunity response, capable of selectively eliminating cells expressing the selected antigen”.
“One of the most promising aspects demonstrated in these studies – underlines the researcher – concerns precisely the ability of this method to induce a strong and, above all, long-lasting cellular immunity in tissues, such as the lung, which normally allow immune cells to penetrate with difficulty present in the circulatory system. This is an extremely important result – he comments – if also evaluated in the perspective of an application against different types of oncological diseases”. Based on these results, which also promise significant repercussions in oncology, explains Federico, we will now proceed with tests on humans, while additional studies planned will establish the safety of the vaccine platform and its tolerability.
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