The new genetic vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases
ENEA and “Regina Elena” National Cancer Institute (IFO) have launched the “Green Genetic Vaccine” platform, which uses an innovative strategy for the rapid, safe and low-cost production of genetic vaccines using plant DNA sequences.
These innovative vaccines, which are already available on the market for veterinary use and are being tested for human use, could have an immunostimulatory effect able to prevent or treat cancer and infectious diseases, Human Papillomavirus, SARS, Zika and influenza.
The first experimental vaccine, patented in collaboration with the University of L’Aquila, based on the fusion between a plant gene and a high-risk HPV gene, is able to induce an effective immune response for the treatment of HPV-related cancers.
The second patent uses a protein plant sequence derived from the bean plant to create a genetic vaccine that induces an effective immune response preventing the transmission of HPV and possibly other infectious diseases.
“We have proved for the first time that the genetic fusion of a short sequence of a plant protein with HPV proteins can be used as a carrier for the antigen virus within the cells of a mammal”, explained Silvia Massa, a researcher at ENEA “Biotechnologies and Agroindustry” division.
This innovation in genetic vaccines increases the ability to induce an adequate immune response and ensures greater safety than the use of molecules of human or bacterial origin, since it does not require the use of the cold chain, which makes them particularly useful in developing countries.