University of Cambridge > > Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars > Bigger Picture Talks, Prof Yvonne Perrie: Designing delivery systems for mRNA vaccines

Bigger Picture Talks, Prof Yvonne Perrie: Designing delivery systems for mRNA vaccines

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Through Bigger Picture Talks, we are inviting thought-leaders from across the world, who are driving significant advances in our impact areas of energy, health and sustainability, to share and discuss their work with us.

The efficacy of RNA -based vaccines has been recently demonstrated, leading to the use of mRNA-based COVID -19 vaccines. mRNA vaccines can induce potent immune responses without the need of translocation into the cell nucleus. Furthermore, mRNA manufacturing can be optimized to be low-cost, fully synthetic and scalable. mRNA vaccines are divided into conventional non-amplifying mRNA and self-amplifying mRNA (samRNA) vaccines and with all types, due to their polyanionic nature and susceptible to enzymatic degradation, delivery systems are needed to facilitate the clinical translation of RNA -based vaccines. To date, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) based on ionizable amino-lipids are the most advanced RNA delivery systems and this technology is now being deployed in COVID -19 vaccines. Within our laboratories we have investigated the impact of the delivery system formulation and platform and the route of administration. To achieve this, we investigated the immunogenicity of a self-amplifying mRNA encoding the rabies virus glycoprotein encapsulated in 3 different non-viral delivery platforms (lipid nanoparticles, solid lipid nanoparticles and polymeric nanoparticles). These were administered via three different routes: intramuscular, intradermal and intranasal. Immunogenicity data in a mouse model showed that lipid nanoparticles and solid lipid nanoparticles induced similar responses upon intramuscular and intradermal administration and comparable potency with the commercial (non-RNA based) vaccine. Our results demonstrate that both the administration route and delivery system format dictate self-amplifying RNA vaccine efficacy, with lipid nanoparticles and solid lipid nanoparticles given via either intramuscular or intradermal route promoting the highest responses.

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Bio: My current position is Professor in Drug Delivery within the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. I qualified as a Pharmacist in 1995 and In 1998 I gained my PhD from the University of London investigating the role of liposomes for drug delivery. I then worked in London within a newly established Drug Delivery Company (Lipoxen Technologies Ltd) for two years, developing their liposome drug delivery platform technology prior to moving into Academia to set up my own research group. My research is multi-disciplinary and focuses on the development of drug delivery systems to facilitate the delivery of drugs and vaccines, thus providing practical solutions for current healthcare problems.

This talk is part of the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars series.

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