Vaccine formulation and immunomodulation

Immunotherapy, which refers to the activation or suppression of the immune system using immunomodulators to treat disease, is rapidly gaining steam. It is now possible to treat cancer by injecting a tumour antigen and immunomodulator into the patient; the modulator attracts the attention of the immune system, and the antigen serves as an example of what to attack. Another strategy is the development of immune check-point inhibitors, which are designed to counteract cancer's ability to evade detection, enabling the immune system to recognize and fight the disease. Conversely, immunotherapy can also be applied to suppress the undesirable immune reactions that underlie chronic immune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and allergic disorders.

In prophylactic vaccine applications, determining the right combination of antigens, adjuvants or delivery vectors in the vaccine cargo is crucial to eliciting robust and sustainable immunity against infections caused by invasive viral and bacterial pathogens, as well as against cancer and chronic diseases.

R&D expertise

NRC has been developing vaccines for over 35 years and has recently expanded its activities in immunotherapy. We work with Canadian and international partners to design and test new vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

Antigens

  • Antigen identification, selection, production and characterization for vaccine design:
    • Virus-like particle (VLPs), carbohydrate, peptide, protein and lipid antigens
    • Indications such as cancer, bacterial pneumonia, C. difficile, influenza
  • Protein carriers for carbohydrate antigens to enhance immunogenicity

Adjuvants and Immunomodulators

  • Archaeal lipid-based adjuvants to increase systemic or mucosal immunity
  • Immunomodulator for asthma treatment
  • Immunopotency testing and mechanism of action
  • Immunogenicity screening

Vectors

Our biomanufacturing expertise enables vaccine SMEs to produce their vaccine candidates and VLPs at bench scale, then optimize and scale up production processes at our Microbial Fermentation Pilot Plant or Cell Culture Pilot Plant.

Efficacy and safety of vaccine and immunotherapeutic candidates can be validated through our Functional Characterization and Analytics expertise, and Preclinical in vivo facility.

Contacts

Wangxue Chen
Team Leader, Mucosal Immunology
Telephone: 613-991-0924
Email: Wangxue.Chen@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Rénald Gilbert
Team Leader, Viral Vector Production
Telephone: 514-496-5308
Email: Renald.Gilbert@cnrc-nrc.gc.ca

Mike McCluskie
Team Leader, Immunomodulation
Telephone: 613-993-9774
Email: Michael.McCluskie@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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