Biopharmaceutical New Technologies Corporation, Mainz, Germany
Title: A.I.R vaccines – A synthetic self-amplifying RNA-based vaccine against Influenza
Biography: Annette B. Vogel
Vaccines are the most effective method of controlling infectious diseases. However, todays vaccine production is facing difficult challenges, as the concepts are often not fast and flexible enough to allow quick responses for the efficient control and prevention of global outbreaks of newly emerging and re-emerging viruses and the adaption to new antigenic drifts.
To address this challenge, BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH is developing an innovative synthetic Amplified Immune Response (A.I.R) vaccine platform against Infectious Diseases that is characterized by short manufacturing times, high flexibility and the feasible production of at least 100,000 RNA-based human vaccination doses per week based on the low concentration needed. The administration of in vitro transcribed self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) results in higher antigen expression than delivery of comparable amounts of mRNA, correlating rather to the final subgenomic transcript copy number than to initially transferred RNA amounts. However, antigen expression is still transient as innate immunity effectively prevents persistent replication. Against influenza virus, both B and T cell-responses are induced. We were able to show high antibody titres in mice for over a one year period and protection against live viral challenge after prime-boost as well as after single vaccination by using submicrogram quantities of saRNA. In summary, A.I.R vaccines give equivalent protection against Influenza to mRNA vaccines but at much lower doses.