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Chimeric Influenza-VLP used as vaccine platform for presentation of foreign antigens - Application to Malaria antigens (FLU-MAL VLP)
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Dec 21, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The goal of this project is to provide a new antigen delivery system for vaccination purpose. We want to develop a vaccine platform based on pseudo-viral particles (VLP), able to enhance antigen immunogenicity and allow for screening multiple antigens independently or simultaneously. A chimeric influenza-VLP platform will be construct, where hemagglutinin (HA) protein will be modified to accommodate exogenous peptides containing B- and/or T- cell epitopes, thus allowing foreign antigen incorporation. The first objective is to select the best chimeric influenza-VLP construction to increase immunogenicity of vectorized antigens. The second objective is to provide a robust and scalable production process and a well-characterized chimeric influenza-VLP platform. The third objective is to validate our vaccination strategy by assaying its efficacy with malaria antigens to immunize against parasite infection and/or blood-stage development of the disease. The strength of this project and its high likelihood of success are based on a synergistic collaboration between three internationally recognized laboratories that would bring their complementary expertise to reach the ultimate goal of the project: delivering a new malaria vaccine-candidate. This will be supported by a complete characterization of the production process and of the final product for transfer to industrial manufacturing. The laboratory VirPath of Pr. Lina, will bring its expertise on influenza virus and vaccine production. Laboratory of Dr. Kamen NRC-Montréal developed for 2-3 years an influenza-VLP production technology based on HEK293 cells. We will transfer and exploit this know-how to select the best production process for chimeric influenza-VLPs and further optimize it. Choice of malaria target antigens and immunology tests on mouse models will be performed by the Malaria Immunology Laboratory of Dr. Rénia in Singapore, bringing its expertise and know-how of malaria immunopathology and vaccines."
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