Development of an innovative Fentanyl vaccine

20 December 2023 → 14 January 2026
Regional and community funding: Industrial Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Biopharmaceutics
    • Clinical toxicology
vaccines lipid nanoparticles opioid crisis fentanyl mRNA
Project description

The opioid epidemic, particularly in the US, faces challenges like high relapse rates and overdose fatalities. To address this, the lab of Prof. Bruno De Geest has developed an innovative vaccine technology. Moving beyond traditional fentanyl-protein conjugation methods, this novel approach has shown promise in initial pre-clinical studies in mouse models. Results demonstrated that the vaccine stimulates the production of fentanyl-specific antibodies in mice. Moreover, serum from these immunized mice can effectively neutralize fentanyl in vitro. Additionally, vaccinated mice exhibited resistance to the adverse effects of fentanyl. However, there are hurdles, especially concerning the precise activation of the immune response and the engagement of CD4+ T cells. This project not only seeks to refine and validate our innovative technology but also aspires to generate novel intellectual property. Our overarching goal is to further facilitate the path for future clinical translation of this innovative fentanyl vaccine technology.