Membrane proteins of enveloped DNA and RNA viruses are glycoproteins that mediate cellular attachment and virus entry into the host cell. They are typically important antigens in that they elicit a strong immune response with high neutralizing antibody titers. As such, viral membrane proteins are important targets in the development of vaccines. When formulating membrane proteins into vaccines, it is crucial that such proteins are in their native conformation, meaning that the protein is in a membrane compartment, to ensure an effective immune response. This is exemplified by the so-called virus-like particle vaccines (VLPs), that include well-known and potent vaccines currently on the market against the human papilloma virus (HPV), such as Cervarix®, Gardasil® & Gardasil9® and the hepatitis B virus (HBV), including the 3rd generation Sci-B-Vac™.
Our solution to viral envelope protein formulation
We use nanodisc technology to formulate membrane proteins, which was originally developed by Prof. Stephen Sligar at the University of Illinois. Instead of using common phospholipids, we use ether lipids and lipids from archaea bacteria for the nanodisc formulation. This substantially improves the thermostability of membrane proteins, conferring excellent structure integrity for weeks at 37°C. As these types of lipids are foreign to higher order species, it also provides self-adjuvating properties.
SATIRN® technology nanodiscs
The SATIRN® technology nanodiscs comprise of a bilayer of synthetically produced lipids, held together by membrane scaffold proteins, which act as the scaffold in which target membrane proteins can be incorporated. The use of specially designed synthetic lipids imparts adjuvant properties to the formulation.
We offer the technical know-how, equipment, manufacturing services, and biological ingredients to deliver membrane proteins formulated via our SATIRN® technology. All biological materials used in the process adhere to high standards of quality control and assurance.