Enhanced HIV Vaccine by CNT-enabled Mucosal Delivery

Period of Performance: 09/30/2015 - 04/29/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Developing a safe and effective HIV vaccine remains the hope for controlling the global AIDS epidemic. Since HIV enters the body at mucosal surfaces, induction of immune response at these sites will be necessary as preventive approaches. Nasal administration has been shown to be the most effective route for mucosal immunization among others, and it can stimulate the immune responses locally and distantly. However, the pure recombinant or synthetic antigens used in HIV vaccines is less immunogenic, therefore, there are major needs for the new HIV antigen delivery platforms to enhance these immunogenicity. Luna proposes to develop a needle free carbon nanotube HIV vaccine (CNTVac) delivery platform that is capable of delivering a broad range of vaccines (antigens) mucosally (by intranasal delivery) to prevent HIV infections. The CNT has been demonstrated that it can uptake into mucosal cell rapidly, less cytotoxicity and stimulate the mucosal immune responses. In Phase I Luna will synthesize and modify the CNT to achieve the best delivery platform for vaccine antigens, and enhance mucosal immune responses with low cytotoxicity. In Phase II Luna will develop CNT vaccine formulation for animal efficacy, safety studies in preparation for filing an IND to prevent HIV infections.