Our proprietary WISIT technology establishes a completely new vaccine format: β-glucan-based neoglucoconjugate vaccines.
Classical conjugate vaccines require a target specific B cell epitope and a carrier protein providing T cell help to induce an efficient immune response. To ensure sufficient immunogenicity, adjuvants are added to conventional conjugate vaccines, which are then administered intramuscularly (i.m.) or subcutaneously (s.c.). Although these tissues can mediate immune responses, they are not specialized in doing so.
In contrast, the WISIT technology delivers peptide-based neoglucoconjugate vaccines specifically designed to target skin-derived dendritic cells (DCs) thereby avoiding the use of adjuvants required for vaccine efficacy.
WISIT constructs are unique as the vaccine backbone itself is the DC targeting/stimulating adjuvant (β-glucan), which is fused to variable, proprietary T helper and disease specific B cell peptide epitopes. WISIT vaccines are delivered directly into the skin, an organ rich in DC and other immune cell types. Through this intradermal (i.d.) application, the immunological potential of the skin, which is evolutionarily designed to initiate immune responses, can be maximally utilized.
Building on results obtained in our initial development program targeting Parkinson’s Disease (PD), we could already provide preclinical proof-of-concept for WISIT vaccines targeting human aSynuclein and demonstrated that these neoglucoconjugates are superior to conventional type PD conjugate vaccines in eliciting functional, protective immune responses in vitro and in vivo (Schmidhuber et al 2022)