On May 15th at the CNR Research Area in Milan (Italy), the European training networks (ETN) Glycovax and NanoCarb organized seminars on vaccine formulation and nanotechnology for the first network meeting. The session began with an introduction on the effect of carbohydrates on the immune response, on the challenge of glycoconjugate vaccines and on the different approaches explained by Prof. Luigi Lay, University of Milan and by Dr. Laura Polito, ISTM-CNR.
The first speaker, Dr. Francesco Berti, scientific director at GSK Vaccines, provided an interesting overview of the formulation of vaccines. He explained the drug production from the pre-formulation, to the development and optimization of the process. It was interesting to understand the critical points to achieve commercial shelf life and life cycle management.
Subsequently, Prof. Francesco Sansone of the University of Parma (UNIPR) held the presentation about synthetic multivalent ligands for biomacromolecule targeting.
The ESRs had the opportunity to understand cooperativity and multivalency of the interaction between lectins and glycopolymers. Two representatives of GSK vaccines, leading pharmaceutical company, concluded this day with two lectures entitled OMV and Carriers and Discovery of new generation of adjuvants and delivery of adjuvanted vaccines.
The head of the vaccine chemistry unit, Dr. Francesca Micoli, gave an insight into the recent glycoengineering of Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMV) for novel approaches towards faster glycoconjugate design. Through the characterization of the material and in vitro and in vivo tests, the aim is the development of effective and affordable vaccines for infectious diseases. The same goal was shared by the last speaker of the day, Dr. Barbara Christiane Baudner, by using small-molecule immune potentiators (SMIPs) as vaccine adjuvants.