TARgeted Mrna re-engineering for enhanced Antibody and Cellular immunity (TARMAC)

15 April 2023 → 14 April 2024
Regional and community funding: Industrial Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Adaptive immunology
    • Vaccinology
    • Intracellular compartments and transport
    • Cancer therapy
cancer mannose-6-phosphate receptor antigen CD4 dendritic cell mRNA MHC T-helper lymphocyte vaccine
Project description

The main objective of this project is to secure a strategic patent position covering the introduction of specifically re-engineered sequences in an mRNA-based vaccine to unlock the full spectrum of cellular immune responses. As incentive of this development is the growing recognition of T-helper lymphocyte (CD4) as critical in effective anti-cancer immunity, together with the challenge in triggering CD4 T-cell responses in the context of mRNA-based vectors. The technology we are developing directly addresses this challenge by leveraging a cellular pathway as yet unexplored for this purpose, where additionally we have introduced targeted molecular modifications to further tune the resulting immune response. This approach can be used commercially for mRNA based product development by U(Z)Gent  research groups active in the field of vaccination in the broadest sense (cancer, infections). In consultation with the IP unit of UGent TechTransfer, our proposed technology was confirmed to provide opportunities for patentable inventions and licensing partnerships.