Looking to mRNA for HIV and beyond

ConserV Bioscience and eTheRNA immunotherapies collaborate on mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases

May 01, 2021
DDNews Staff
Looking to mRNA for HIV and beyond

Although their mRNA vaccine collaboration is initially focused on HIV, ConserV Bioscience Ltd. and eTheRNA immunotherapies may pursue other indications in the future.

LONDON & NIEL, Belgium—ConserV Bioscience Ltd. and eTheRNA immunotherapies NV have agreed to collaborate on the development of vaccine candidates for infectious diseases. ConserV is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing vaccines that protect against endemic and emergent infectious diseases; eTheRNA is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on mRNA antigen delivery and immunostimulation using its ground-breaking TriMix technology. 

The combined efforts of these two companies is expected to produce new vaccines that will induce potent immune responses to protect against highly mutagenic viruses. Their initial focus will be on the development of a mRNA vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

This collaboration brings together ConserV’s expertise in identifying broadly protective antigens and eTheRNA’s TriMix immunostimulatory mRNA technology and novel lipid nanoparticle (LNP) encapsulation technologies. Assuming the companies are successful in their objective of identifying a lead formulation to move forward to clinical development on HIV, the collaboration may also develop other mRNA vaccine formulations based upon ConserV’s antigen portfolio.

ConserV’s candidate antigens include conserved regions from both internal and external viral proteins containing clusters of reactive T cell epitopes for multiple human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). eTheRNA’s TriMix contains three mRNA molecules (caTLR4, CD40L and CD70) that combined work to produce a potent, durable T cell-mediated immune response. Also, eTheRNA has developed proprietary LNPs to be used as targeted delivery vehicles for mRNA and is developing an intranasal delivery vehicle which, combined with TriMix, aims to induce antigen-specific T cell-mediated mucosal immunity.

“Our mission is to develop safe and effective vaccines which offer broad protection against infections from viruses that mutate frequently,” noted Kimbell Duncan, CEO of ConserV. “We are pleased to be working with eTheRNA to develop mRNA-based vaccine formulations of our antigen constructs, in combination with eTheRNA’s TriMix and LNP technologies, in order to expand our development pipeline. This follows the recent collaboration with the US government’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop a broad-spectrum coronavirus vaccine.”

“The potential of combining eTheRNA’s mRNA and LNP technologies with ConserV’s antigens is exciting. The collaboration has the potential to demonstrate the added benefits of our vaccine platform in enhancing immune responses to antigens targeting viruses that mutate regularly,” added Steven Powell, CEO of eTheRNA. 


Reference

ConserV Bioscience LTD. http://www.conservbio.com/

eTheRNA immunotherapies NV http://www.etherna.be/

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