LC-Plasma-based Vaccine Research Selected for SCARDA Project

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Kirin Holdings Company, Limited (Kirin Holdings)(TOKYO:2503) and National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) are jointly conducting studies to investigate the protective efficacy of L. lactis strain Plasma [postbiotic] (LC-Plasma) immunization against infectious diseases. We now announce that a proposal for our collaborative research has currently been accepted as a project for research and development into new modalities contributing to vaccine development by the Strategic Center of Biomedical Advanced Vaccine Research and Development for Preparedness and Response (SCARDA) in the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

Information on the Research Project

Title: Development of an intranasal Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma vaccine inducing innate memory

Representative: Tetsuro Matano, Deputy Director-General, NIID

Representative: Daisuke Fujiwara, Executive Officer, General Manager, Health Science Institute, Kirin Holdings

●Unique point
This research aims at developing an intranasal LC-Plasma vaccine to induce innate immunity for prevention of respiratory virus infection.

SCARDA was established at AMED in March, 2022, based on the national strategy, to strengthen strategic research funding and to promote the formation of world-class research and development centers . SCARDA is supporting Research & Development for new generation vaccines. Traditional vaccines are expected to induce adaptive immune responses including antibody and T cell responses to prevent infection with pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Recently, the concept of trained immunity has been discussed and there have been several attempts to develop vaccines inducing effective innate responses against infectious diseases, which has not yet been achieved.

LC-Plasma is characterized by its ability to activate plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and stimulate interferon production, leading to enhancement of innate immune responses. Through joint research with NIID, Kirin Holdings has confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 replication is inhibited by the culture supernatants of pDCs stimulated with LC-Plasma (Ishii et al, BBRC 662:26, 2023).

Kirin Holdings and NIID are now conducting collaborative research for the development of vaccines inducing innate immune responses against respiratory virus infection by utilizing LC-Plasma for medical use. This project is to explore the potential of intranasal LC-Plasma vaccination to prevent respiratory infection with viruses including SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses.