Skin Patch Genetic Vaccine Against Botulism

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Mingtao Zeng
Dr. Zeng is developing new-generation vaccines against human respiratory pathogens such as influenza viruses, Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), and agents important for biodefense such as Bacillus anthracis, botulinum neurotoxins, and Francisella tularensis.
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David McClure
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A Microneedle-mediated and Nanoparticle Adjuvanted Skin Patch Genetic Vaccine against Botulism

Provisional Patent Application Filed

A pain-free, easily administered and stored vaccine for protection against botulism has been developed. Administration, through the skin, using a micro-needle elicits a stronger immune response than commonly used, and frequently painful, intramuscular injections. The use of a DNA plasmid makes the vaccine quick and simple to manufacture. Together, the DNA plasmid along with the vaccination method, make the vaccine ideal for mass vaccination programs because it is easy to manufacture, administer, store, transport, and seems to be more efficacious than previous vaccines.

Market Applications:

- Vaccines

- Biotechnology

Features, Benefits & Advantages:

The vaccine consists of cationic poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles coated with the DNA plasmid encoding the heavy chain for the botulism toxin (BoNT/C-Hc50). Additionally, administration of the vaccine topically through the use of micro-needles, potentially in the form of a skin patch, provides a novel and easily administered botulism vaccine.

The use of a DNA plasmid makes the vaccine easier and safer to manufacture compared to previous methods by eliminating the need for facilities specialized in dealing with highly infectious botulism cultures.  The transcutaneous vaccination for botulism is a more effective vaccine than previous ones and testing in mice has been successful in preventing botulism toxicity, after treatment with the vaccine. A viable method of manufacturing this technology has also been discovered.

-  Easy to manufacture

-  Easy to store

-  Elicits strong immune responses

-  Antibody responses detected in both serum and the mucosa

Development Stage:

Working prototype of vaccine has demonstrated efficacy in animal models.  Work to demonstrate efficacy in humans is continuing.