In the pipeline: Vaccines for infectious diseases

The objective of a prophylactic vaccine is to expose the body to a protein from the pathogen, called an antigen, toward which it can generate an immune response in the absence of the pathogen in preparation to fight the actual infection, should it occur. mRNA can be used to encode the antigen as a safe way to expose the body to a component of the pathogen without the risk of causing an infection.

Our mRNA platform has significant advantages compared to non-mRNA vaccines, including:

  • The antigen expressed is a true match to the protein present in a viral pathogen, thus increasing the quality of the immune response as compared to vaccines produced through other methods.
  • The short development time from antigen selection to clinical trials makes mRNA ideal for emerging epidemics or pandemic response. This is one reason why mRNA vaccines have been among the fastest developed for COVID-19.
  • The same manufacturing process and facility can be used to produce different mRNA vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccine candidates

Our candidates have shown promising antibody response and cell-mediated immunity in pre-clinical studies. We plan to start Phase I clinical trials in Africa in early 2022.

Seasonal influenza vaccine candidate

We anticipate a multivalent vaccine consisting of mRNA encoding for two types of antigens, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), formulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). This combination of antigens is expected to provide a robust and potentially broad protective immune response to influenza viruses. We are conducting preclinical studies to enable candidate selection for phase 1 clinical studies to commence late 2022.