Biopharmaceutical company, Nanotherapeutics and Jay Berzofsky and colleagues from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have jointly authored a paper on a new nanoparticles-based HIV vaccine that can be administered orally through a micro-particle delivery system.
The new vaccine system has been tested on animals and the results of the experiments are published in the August issue of Nature Medicine. The findings of the study offer a possible new solution to protect vaginal and rectal mucosa from HIV and other pathogenic microorganisms.
HIV transmits through rectal and vaginal mucosa. Though administration of HIV vaccine intracolorectally is proven to be effective in protection against HIV infection, the strategy is clinically difficult to implement for the protection of large populations. A favorable alternative would be oral administration of vaccine. However, effectiveness of vaccine delivered orally is limited by the disintegration of the vaccine in the upper gastrointestinal tract. A small intestine targeted vaccine delivery system also failed as its scope of protection was limited only to the small intestine and not vagina or rectal region.
Nanotherapeutics and the team form NCI designed a nanoparticle releasing, large intestine targeted oral HIV vaccine to be delivered by a micro-particle system. When this system was tested on mice, it was found that the vaccine offered colorectal immunity and vaginal and rectal protection from the virus.
This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Intramural Research Program of NIH, the Center for Cancer Research and the Intramural AIDS Targeted Antiviral Program, a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement with Nanotherapeutics, and a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31170872).