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News & Observer | Liquidia Technologies has started early clinical testing of its first vaccine developed using nanotechnology. The Durham company, which has raised $25 million in financing this year, is testing a seasonal flu vaccine aimed at adults over age 65.

Liquidia is also developing cancer treatments and other products based on the nanotechnology research of founder Joseph DeSimone, a chemist at N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill.

The flu vaccine will require years of clinical testing before it can win marketing approval from U.S. regulators. The vaccine is designed to have tiny particles deliver the medicine more safely and effectively.

Learn More about the Nanotechnology Approach to Vaccines

Critical unmet needs exist for safe and effective vaccines to fight cancer, infection, and emerging diseases. In response, Liquidia is developing particle-based vaccines, utilizing size, shape and composition control for novel delivery and presentation of multiple vaccine components. These design strategies allow Liquidia to uniquely address efficacy, safety and tolerability challenges across all segments of the vaccine landscape.

Engineered Particulate Systems
By delivering vaccine antigen on a simple dissolvable particle, Liquidia can increase vaccine effectiveness and use less antigen without an additional adjuvant. Liquidia has also shown the potential to enhance immune response by simply controlling the size and shape of the particles. For more difficult challenges, Liquidia’s flexible design parameters enable the development of vaccines with multiple adjuvants, antigens, and presentation strategies tailored to the specific challenge. Pre-clinical studies of PRINT particles demonstrate compatibility with multiple antigens and adjuvants to enhance the desired immune response. These design strategies can maximize immune response, while minimizing side effects, enabling a new generation of particulate vaccines.

Conjugate Vaccines
Conjugate polysaccharide vaccines have made significant improvements in public health by providing effective protection against several bacterial diseases. These products, however, rely on chemically bonding polysaccharide antigens to a carrier protein through complex conjugation chemistry. The complexity and inefficiency of this approach limits strain coverage and creates product shortages. Because of the unique features of the PRINT platform, Liquidia can simply mold a protein and polysaccharide together in a PRINT particle, improving production and opening up novel product opportunities for a variety of bacterial diseases.

Nucleic Acid Vaccines
Nucleic acid vaccines deliver small amounts of DNA or RNA designed to produce only the portion of the pathogen needed to trigger a protective immune response. Experimental vaccines have shown this approach to be highly effective for generating cellular and antibody responses, but have relied on modified viruses or other biological agents for delivery. PRINT particles tailored to protect and deliver the delicate biological cargo provide a platform for potent, low dose, safe vaccines against a wide variety of diseases. This broadly applicable, high volume, and cell-free platform has the opportunity to fundamentally transform vaccine development.

We might have an interesting discussion about the dissemination of these type of vaccines and use of nanotechnology. My concern is the possible insertion of these particles in places and people without consent. What if they are embedded in articles of clothing and in foods, or aerosol sprays?

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