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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(34): e2207841119, 2022 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991768


The targeted delivery of messenger RNA (mRNA) to desired organs remains a great challenge for in vivo applications of mRNA technology. For mRNA vaccines, the targeted delivery to the lymph node (LN) is predicted to reduce side effects and increase the immune response. In this study, we explored an endogenously LN-targeting lipid nanoparticle (LNP) without the modification of any active targeting ligands for developing an mRNA cancer vaccine. The LNP named 113-O12B showed increased and specific expression in the LN compared with LNP formulated with ALC-0315, a synthetic lipid used in the COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty. The targeted delivery of mRNA to the LN increased the CD8+ T cell response to the encoded full-length ovalbumin (OVA) model antigen. As a result, the protective and therapeutic effect of the OVA-encoding mRNA vaccine on the OVA-antigen-bearing B16F10 melanoma model was also improved. Moreover, 113-O12B encapsulated with TRP-2 peptide (TRP2180-188)-encoding mRNA also exhibited excellent tumor inhibition, with the complete response of 40% in the regular B16F10 tumor model when combined with anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) therapy, revealing broad application of 113-O12B from protein to peptide antigens. All the treated mice showed long-term immune memory, hindering the occurrence of tumor metastatic nodules in the lung in the rechallenging experiments that followed. The enhanced antitumor efficacy of the LN-targeting LNP system shows great potential as a universal platform for the next generation of mRNA vaccines.

COVID-19 , Cancer Vaccines , Nanoparticles , Neoplasms , Amino Alcohols , Animals , Antigens/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 Vaccines , Decanoates , Humans , Liposomes , Lymph Nodes , Mice , Neoplasms/metabolism , Ovalbumin , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
Mol Pharm ; 19(7): 2175-2182, 2022 07 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873399


Ionizable cationic lipids are essential for efficient in vivo delivery of RNA by lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). DLin-MC3-DMA (MC3), ALC-0315, and SM-102 are the only ionizable cationic lipids currently clinically approved for RNA therapies. ALC-0315 and SM-102 are structurally similar lipids used in SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines, while MC3 is used in siRNA therapy to knock down transthyretin in hepatocytes. Hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are particularly attractive targets for RNA therapy because they synthesize many plasma proteins, including those that influence blood coagulation. While LNPs preferentially accumulate in the liver, evaluating the ability of different ionizable cationic lipids to deliver RNA cargo into distinct cell populations is important for designing RNA-LNP therapies with minimal hepatotoxicity. Here, we directly compared LNPs containing either ALC-0315 or MC3 to knock-down coagulation factor VII (FVII) in hepatocytes and ADAMTS13 in HSCs. At a dose of 1 mg/kg siRNA in mice, LNPs with ALC-0315 achieved a 2- and 10-fold greater knockdown of FVII and ADAMTS13, respectively, compared to LNPs with MC3. At a high dose (5 mg/kg), ALC-0315 LNPs increased markers of liver toxicity (ALT and bile acids), while the same dose of MC3 LNPs did not. These results demonstrate that ALC-0315 LNPs achieves potent siRNA-mediated knockdown of target proteins in hepatocytes and HSCs, in mice, though markers of liver toxicity can be observed after a high dose. This study provides an initial comparison that may inform the development of ionizable cationic LNP therapeutics with maximal efficacy and limited toxicity.

COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Amino Alcohols , Animals , Caprylates , Cations/metabolism , Decanoates , Hepatic Stellate Cells/metabolism , Hepatocytes/metabolism , Lipids , Liposomes , Mice , RNA, Small Interfering , SARS-CoV-2
Mol Pharm ; 19(6): 1892-1905, 2022 06 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860276


Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are the leading technology for RNA delivery, given the success of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA (mRNA) vaccines, and small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapies (patisiran). However, optimization of LNP process parameters and compositions for larger RNA payloads such as self-amplifying RNA (saRNA), which can have complex secondary structures, have not been carried out. Furthermore, the interactions between process parameters, critical quality attributes (CQAs), and function, such as protein expression and cellular activation, are not well understood. Here, we used two iterations of design of experiments (DoE) (definitive screening design and Box-Behnken design) to optimize saRNA formulations using the leading, FDA-approved ionizable lipids (MC3, ALC-0315, and SM-102). We observed that PEG is required to preserve the CQAs and that saRNA is more challenging to encapsulate and preserve than mRNA. We identified three formulations to minimize cellular activation, maximize cellular activation, or meet a CQA profile while maximizing protein expression. The significant parameters and design of the response surface modeling and multiple response optimization may be useful for designing formulations for a range of applications, such as vaccines or protein replacement therapies, for larger RNA cargoes.

COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Amino Alcohols , COVID-19/therapy , Caprylates , Decanoates , Humans , Liposomes , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering