VANCOUVER, BC – New findings published in Nature highlight the potential of a new messenger RNA vaccine to protect against Zika virus.
Acuitas Therapeutics Inc., a Vancouver-based private biotechnology company is behind the published findings. The company is developing a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology for the messenger RNA (mRNA), and the company has demonstrated that a single low dose immunization with a messenger RNA delivered in an Acuitas LNP carrier protects against infection by the Zika virus.
According to the published research, Acuitas Therapeutics scientists and academic researchers including Dr. Drew Weissman, a professor of Infectious Diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that single low-dose immunization with mRNA-LNP encoding the pre-membrane and envelope (prM-E) glycoproteins of a Zika virus strain responsible for the 2013 outbreak elicited potent, durable and protective neutralizing antibody responses in animals.
“I am delighted that our long-standing collaboration with Dr. Weissman continues to demonstrate the exciting clinical potential of mRNA therapeutics,” said Thomas Madden, president and CEO of Acuitas Therapeutics. “The current data show that a single low dose administration of mRNA-LNP encoding a Zika protein completely protected animals from a subsequent challenge with the virus.”
He adds the company “looks forward to continuing its collaboration with Dr. Weissman to further advance this exciting new therapeutic modality.”