17 and 30 September 2021 online meetings
The first meetings of the autumn were held for separate work packages to discuss the progress we made since our last meeting in June and share ideas for future plans. It was announced that a cloud service of Örebro University is now available for all participants. This internal storage and collaboration area can be used to share documents, like meeting schedules, background logs and progress reports.
Work package 1: Chlamydia trachomatis vaccine
The importance of developing a Chlamydia trachomatis vaccine were presented by the pharmaceutical company Endocine. The results of the first animal experiments using a subunit vaccine with different adjuvants were discussed focusing on the promising outcomes and the possible modifications for follow-up studies. We also confirmed the establishment of a challenge model for the upcoming experiments.
Work package 2: Tolerogens
After a brief introduction of multiple sclerosis, our tolerogen design was presented, which will soon be available for production in plants. MIVAC Development demonstrated the experience of the company in immunization and tolerance induction, including their adjuvant technology. We discussed the challenges of using plants as vaccine platforms and strategies to test the immune response.
Work package 3: HIV vaccine and probiotics
The necessity of the development of a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine was presented along with our strategy to target the gut associated lymphoid tissue. It was shown how a probiotic bacterium strain was modified to produce an HIV protein and we discussed how to optimise this procedure.
Work package 4: TBE vaccine
The progress towards a live attenuated and a subunit vaccine development was presented. We discussed the challenges of formulation and production, including expected shortages on certain supplies. A plan for the initial animal experiments was suggested raising questions about experiment layout and blood collection.
Work package 5: Flavivirus vector-based vaccines
The developed flavivirus tools (replicons and packaging systems) were presented with highlight on further improvements and combinations with mucosal adjuvants to develop vaccines against diseases of global importance, including Ebola virus disease, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and viral hepatitis. Several questions were raised to discuss the platform, the ethical background and sample collection of planned animal experiments and the involvement of collaborators.