Steering committee meeting 17 June 2021

17 June 2021 Annual committee meeting (online)
The first annual meeting of the Developvaccine@oru project was held for five work packages separately, involving all subproject leaders and the respective researchers at Örebro University, as well as the key representatives from the collaborating companies. We summarized the progress and discussed our plans for each work package as described below.

Work package 1: Chlamydia trachomatis vaccine
The preliminary results of the first animal experiments for the development of our Chlamydia trachomatis vaccine were presented. Based on these data, we can start planning follow-up studies exploring new combinations of vaccine proteins in addition to improved and new adjuvants. We also organized joint work for sample processing, so that researchers of different work packages can assist and learn from each other.

Work package 2: Tolerogens
The strategy was presented to develop a tolerogen, which can be used to reinstate immunogenic tolerance specific for the antigens being under attack by the immune system. Our previous promising results with rheumatoid arthritis encouraged us to broaden our perspectives and involve multiple sclerosis in this work package. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune mediated neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system affecting approximately 2.8 million people worldwide.

Work package 3: HIV vaccine and probiotics
Several products of Probi, a world leading company in probiotics were demonstrated. One of the most important conclusions was that different probiotic bacterium strains have different effects, which we can utilise as adjuvants or platforms for our specific antigens.

Work package 4: TBE vaccine
The strategies for developing a new and improved tick-borne encephalitis vaccine were presented. We made encouraging progress towards a live vaccine development and discussed the targets for a mucosal subunit vaccine.

Work package 5: Flavivirus vector-based vaccines
The presentation of this work package demonstrated how our flavivirus platform can be used to develop a vaccine against Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus. The results indicate that the platform is safe and we can consider using it also for other targets.

The event was closed by a collective meeting including every participant of the project to address general questions and future plans. Besides planning our schedule for the next semester, we decided to also create progress reports regularly, so information and ideas could be shared freely between scientists of all subprojects and work packages.