HPV Vaccine Development
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women and the second most common cancer in low- and middle-income areas and is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Overview of HPV
HPV is a non-enveloped DNA virus with a genome size of about 8 kb. It belongs to the genus Papillomavirus of the family Papillomaviridae and infects the epidermis and mucosal tissues of the human body. the most important types are HPV-16 and HPV-18, followed by HPV-31, HPV-33, HPV-35, HPV-39, HPV-45, HPV-51, HPV-52, HPV-56, HPV-58 and HPV-59.
The Capsid of HPV
The capsid of HPV is arranged in an icosahedral form and consists of major and minor capsid proteins L1 and L2, respectively, and L1 can be assembled into VLPs regardless of the presence of L2. VLPs can effectively induce T-cell responses due to their granular nature. VLPs are effective in inducing T cell responses due to their granular nature. In addition, a series of repeating epitopes on the surface of VLPs can be recognized by B cells. Therefore, compared with other subunit vaccines, these VLPs are more immunogenic and can produce high titers of neutralizing antibodies when used as vaccines.
The HPV vaccine has high vaccine efficacy in adult women, especially those with negative HPV DNA at baseline, and three HPV vaccines are currently licensed. With adequate cervical cancer screening and vaccination, the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer are significantly reduced. But the high cost of the HPV vaccine undermines an already well-established vaccination program.
Plant-based Platform to Produce HPV VLP Vaccine
Plant expression systems have attracted much attention as a cost-effective alternative to traditional expression systems for vaccine production. Plant production platforms for VLPs are safe, robust, and highly scalable, with low production costs and post-translational modifications. Plants are increasingly used to express antibodies and foreign antigens using genetic engineering techniques to produce vaccines. There are three ways of expressing heterologous protein molecules by plant platforms, namely, stable nuclear expression, transient expression using non-replicative or viral vectors, and transplastomic expression within chloroplasts.
Plants have the following advantages in the production of HPV vaccines against VLPs.
- Low Production Costs
Plants can be grown on a large scale in greenhouses or bioreactors without the need for expensive facilities.
- Low Risk
Plants can not only express complex antigens, but also avoid the risk of carrying human pathogens or endotoxins inherent in bacterial, insect or mammalian cell systems.
- Simple Preparation
The plant material can be easily freeze-dried and made into low-cost tablets for oral administration.
- Has Cell Wall
When taken orally, plant-derived vaccines are protected by plant cell walls in the stomach while being slowly released in the gut.
Transmission electron micrograph of VLPs of HPV produced by plants. (Naupu PN, et al., 2020)
How We Can Help
As an expert in building VLPs from VLPlantTM platform, CD BioSciences uses its expertise to help our clients develop HPV vaccines. We are good at customizing our services according to the needs of our clients. Please contact us if you are interested.
Our capabilities include but are not limited to:
Quote and Ordering
- Naupu PN.; et al., Immunogenicity of Plant-Produced Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Virus-Like Particles (VLPs). Vaccines (Basel). 2010, 8:740-755.