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Development of VLPs-based vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and other human Coronaviruses

Grant number: 21/08468-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Applied Immunology
Principal researcher:Gustavo Cabral de Miranda
Grantee:Wasim Aluísio Prates Syed
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/14526-0 - Development of vaccines against Streptococcus pyogenes and Chikungunya Virus based on virus like particles, AP.JP

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 vaccines must be one step ahead of the rapid evolution of the virus. Therefore immunogenic and flexible vaccine platforms are needed. Variants of concern (VOCs) that continually emerge with an unprecedented spread of the virus have already significantly increased the transmissibility and severity of COVID-19 and affected the efficacy and effectiveness of vaccines and vaccination worldwide, being no different in Brazil. Moreover, the recent pandemic is not the first and will not be the last one caused by zoonotic Coronaviruses in this century, as seen with SARS and MERS. Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) are a highly versatile and already consolidated vaccine platform against other viruses, such as HBC and HPV. And the recent approval and success of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 is also exciting since this technology is versatile and easily adaptable against new epidemiologic threats. This project will develop three VLPs-based vaccines: two composed of QB-VLPs associated with mRNA against SARS-CoV-2 and Pancoronavirus, respectively, and another homologous VLPs comprising the S, M, E, and N proteins from SARS-CoV-2. The use of novel vaccines that use mRNA associated with VLPs represents a promising way of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, new VOCs, and future Coronaviruses outbreaks. (AU)

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