NanoVation Therapeutics™ & Baseimmune announce innovative mRNA vaccine collaboration
Companies to collaborate on designing ‘universal antigens’ for broad-spectrum mRNA vaccines against COVID, malaria and African swine fever
Baseimmune™ and NanoVation Therapeutics™ (NTx) today announced their preclinical partnership program to accelerate the development of more effective vaccines against a range of infectious diseases including COVID, malaria and African swine fever (ASF). The collaboration unites Baseimmune’s unique, informatics-empowered technology for generating highly effective antigens with the revolutionary potential of mRNA vaccines and NTx’s world-leading expertise in designing next-generation lipid nanoparticle (LNP) systems.
Because pathogens are evolving constantly to adapt and ensure their survival, they are a constantly moving target for vaccines. The long-term effectiveness of current COVID vaccines, which use an antigen of traditional, single protein design, is uncertain due to recurrent mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome and other coronaviruses. Other diseases with high global impact, like malaria and ASF, have long eluded vaccines because the simply designed antigens used until now in these vaccines have been unable to contend with the genetic complexity of the diseases’ viral pathogens.
Baseimmune uses the power of big data, high-performance computing, and machine learning to design cross protective —or ‘universal’—antigens for vaccines. These antigens can protect against a wider range of strains, and against all current and likely future variants of a given pathogen. In this collaboration, Baseimmune’s informatics-empowered antigens against a spectrum of coronaviruses, malaria, and ASF variants will be enabled by leveraging the revolutionary potential of mRNA (messenger RNA) to encode for various antigens.
Crucial to the efficacy of these mRNA vaccines will be the delivery system that effectively and safely carries the delicate mRNA molecules to cells, where the genetic code will be used to synthesize the ‘universal antigens’ against the target diseases. NTx specializes in the design and development of application-tailored LNP formulations for the delivery of nucleic acids to various tissues in the body. LNPs enclose their cargo—in this case, mRNA strands—within a protective sphere composed of lipid (fat) molecules, allowing for its safe transport. It is an LNP delivery system that underpins the efficacy of the existing mRNA COVID vaccines, the vaccines that have so vividly demonstrated the potential of RNA technology for the prevention and treatment of diseases.
“The urgency of developing a COVID vaccine that is effective against new variants is obvious to us all,” says Dr. Joshua Blight, Co-Founder & CEO of Baseimmune. “Meanwhile, in many countries across the globe, ASF undermines the livelihoods of farmers and malaria has a devastating impact, killing 0.6 million a year. We are convinced that, by combining ‘OMICs’ big data with biological expertise, Baseimmune can create the vaccines to address these problems. Through this project, we will find out if an mRNA approach is part of the solution.”
“NanoVation is thrilled to join forces with Baseimmune in this effort,” says NTx Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Dominik Witzigmann. “It is precisely to enable this sort of innovative approach to disease prevention that NTx was created.” NTx Managing Director UK Dr. Arpan Desai adds: “The merging of our globally unique expertise in customized LNP formulation with Baseimmune’s unique antigen design capacity holds tremendous promise.”
In this collaborative program, Baseimmune in London, UK, will create the antigen-encoded mRNA, prioritizing COVID as their first target, and work closely with the NanoVation GENErator™ in Harwell, UK, where the mRNA will be entrapped in tailor-made LNPs. The LNP-mRNA systems will then be tested in various preclinical models by Baseimmune.
About NanoVation Therapeutics™ (NTx)
NanoVation Therapeutics (NTx) is a gene therapy company developing next-generation platform technologies based on lipid nanoparticles for the safe and efficient delivery of nucleic acids. NTx`s one-stop-shop IP portfolio is utilized to tune formulations to specific applications as well as a variety of tissues. Focused on translating personalized nucleic acid therapies to the clinic, NTx aims to treat and prevent multiple diseases enabling a healthier tomorrow, TODAY.
Baseimmune is a discovery stage biotech start-up founded to create the next generation of cross protective vaccines. Their unique platform is based on innovative and powerful technology that generates antigens using a level of informatics depth not previously seen. Their method incorporates the ever-growing amount of genomic and epidemiological data into the design of universal vaccines to tackle emerging and challenging pathogens that had been failed by traditional approaches. Their broad-spectrum vaccines remain effective even when the pathogen mutates.