Development of a bnAb-based HIV vaccine is a complex task, but through our experimentation with various approaches to finding the optimal immunogen, we showed that it has the highest potential of being an effective HIV vaccine.
By employing advanced protein engineering tech, we generated novel immunogens and proved they have a high potential of eliciting bnAbs on key viral epitopes when administered as a part of a sequential multi-immunogen vaccination process.
The confirmation of vaccine candidates can only be accomplished through rigorous human clinical testing. We intend to use small-scale Phase I trials to rapidly test our vaccine concepts and then based on the results make iterative improvements to the design to better target bnAb sites. We will prioritize manufacturing and testing these candidates to eventually assemble immunization regimens targeting 2-3 bnAb sites. Knowledge gained from the development of one candidate will be applied to subsequent related candidate(s) to streamline development.
Targeting Vulnerabilities on the Envelope Trimer
Env trimer is the target of bnAbs and the key focus point for all our vaccine designs. In our studies, we have determined the molecular structure of the Env, and we also defined 5 distinct sites on it. Sites that are particularly recognized by bnAbs, which makes them especially vulnerable to vaccines.
We work intensively to build upon our scientific advances to date, integrate them with our vaccine designs, and apply the lessons learned to clinical trials.
Our studies have shown that the most likely final format for a successful bnAb-based HIV vaccine is one that induces bnAbs to at least 2 sites by sequential administration of 3 to 4 immunogens.
bnAb sites of vulnerability
targeted vaccine effectiveness
Iterative Immunogen Design
Although time-consuming and expensive, iteration is critical for success. The type of iterative immunogen design strategy we are pursuing revolves around immunogen testing that's followed by immunogen improvement and re-testing.
Basis of our Vaccine Discovery Process