About this project
We develop new therapeutic DNA-based hepatitis vaccines, by taking advantage of the flavivirus biology for delivery of suitable genes of interest to the target cells.
Hepatitis B, C and D virus infections constitute a major global health problem as more than 500 million people are chronically infected. Hepatitis infections are also a major factor underlying liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, which justifies treatment despite high costs and side effects.
The use of DNA as a vaccine platform is highly attractive from an industrial perspective since DNA is easy and cheap to produce and has an excellent stability even at room temperature. These intrinsic characteristics make DNA vaccines highly suitable for large-scale vaccinations under simple conditions. However, DNA vaccines have not yet reached their full potential. The major problems are delivery and immunogenicity. The problems associated with delivery can today be solved using advanced technologies such as the Gene Gun and in vivo electroporation. Thus, the central questions of issue addressed in this project is to increase the scientific knowledge on the molecular virology and immunology of flaviviruses and Hepatitis B, C and D viruses with the overall aim to establish a new vaccine platform. In addition, the industrial partners gain from the project as they are improving their techniques and experience for production, delivery and safety aspects of DNA replicon-based vaccines.