Nov. 25, 2012
/PRNewswire/ -- CureVac GmbH, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of therapies and vaccines based on mRNA, and the German Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI),
, today announced that mRNA vaccines (RNActive) based on the company's RNA technology platform have the potential to provide effective protection against infectious diseases.
data published by CureVac and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute online in
show that mRNA vaccines induced balanced, long-lived and protective immunity to influenza A virus infections in various animal models. It is also shown that the production of RNActive vaccines is highly flexible. Thus, RNActive vaccines can be rapidly supplied for a variety of virus strains and subtypes identified in response to pandemic scenarios.
"The findings and results from a very fruitful collaboration with our colleagues from the renowned Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, underscore the medical potential of mRNA beyond cancer immunotherapy and validate the capacity of our RNActive vaccines to prevent infectious diseases," said
, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of CureVac. "The synthetic nature of our RNActive vaccines reduces production time dramatically and allows for sequence-matched vaccines that can be produced quickly and reliably in a scalable process. Additionally, our vaccines can be stored at room temperature, thereby avoiding the cold-chain in contrast to all other vaccines on the market and making worldwide distribution of our vaccines logistically and financially attractive."
, M.D., Head of Institute of Immunology, FLI, Greifswald,
, and one of the corresponding authors of the publication, said, "Our data highlight the potential and advantages of prophylactic mRNA-based vaccines and make immunization against a broad range of pathogens possible. We have a significant need for improved technologies that could be rapidly adapted to match circulating strains and allow efficient, large-scale production if necessary. In particular, we ultimately need a broadly protective vaccine against influenza. Thus, these mRNA vaccines overcome the draw-backs of many other prophylactic vaccination methods including DNA-based approaches that can have insufficient clinical efficacy or safety and may cause residual vector immunogenicity."
The authors demonstrated that the mRNA vaccine encoding full-length hemagglutinin (HA) of the influenza A/PuertoRico/8/1934 (PR8HA) strain was immunogenic and induced balanced B- and T-cell responses in mice. Influenza A viruses are classified based on the expression of a certain subtype of HA and a certain subtype of neuraminidase (NA). HA forms the basis of all licensed influenza vaccines. Furthermore, the immunized mice were protected against death and disease upon infectious challenge by an antibody-dependent mode-of-action. Moreover, the authors targeted additional influenza A virus strains by sequence-matched, HA-specific vaccines, and showed that all vaccines induced full protection against lethal infections, including H1N1pdm09 swine flu and H5N1 bird flu virus. The mRNA vaccine was immunogenic and provided long-term protection in newborn as well as in aged mice.