Plant Production of Vaccines

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office

Abstract

Advances in the technologies for expressing proteins and extracting them from plants have allowed several plant-made products to be assessed for safety and efficacy. The results have been favourable and have culminated in the demonstration that plant-produced vaccine can protect target animals against challenge. However, most of these successes have concerned the production of antigens which had previously been produced using established methods such as mammalian cell culture. For plants to fulfil their potential as a means of producing vaccines, it is now imperative that methods are developed for the rapid production and characterisation of a large number of vaccine candidates. This project will exploit recent developments in transient expression technologies to screen a range of vaccine candidates in plants. These methods can produce milligram quantities of candidate proteins in a matter of days using only small amounts (tens of grams) of plant tissue. The project will concentrate on screening vaccine candidate proteins which are capable of forming virus-like particles (VLPs), as such particulate structures are known to be potent stimulators of the immune system. Furthermore, they can be used as carriers of additional immunogenic sequences for the developments of novel vaccines. The project will focus on diseases which are particularly relevant to both the EU and Russia, including Avian Influenza virus (AIV), Blue Tongue Virus (BTV) Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome Virus (PRRSV). The ability to screen many candidate VLPs will result in the development of novel vaccines against these and other important pathogens. At the same time as the screening is carried out, methods will be developed to allow the rapid translation of the information gained through the transient studies into larger scale production systems for the most promising candidates. This will enable low cost vaccines to be developed for use for livestock and, ultimately, humans.
 
Description Highly efficient methods for the rapid production of VLPs in plants were developed during the project. A particular success was the development of a plant-derived vaccine against Bluetongue virus (BTV) which was shown to able to protect sheep against the disease.
Exploitation Route The methods developed during the project are highly relevant to the production of vaccines for human as well as veterinary use. The technology is currently being deployed for this purpose.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://www.plaprova.eu/
 
Description The overall aim of this EU FP7project (PLAPROVA) was to exploit recent advances in the technologies for the rapid expression of proteins in plants to screen a range of vaccine candidates. The project focussed on veterinary diseases which are particularly relevant to both the EU and Russia, including Avian influenza virus (AIV), Human and Bovine papillomaviruses (HPV and BPV) Bluetongue virus (BTV), Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV) and Foot-and-mouth-disease virus (FMDV). It concentrated on the production of virus-like particles (VLPs) as these are known to be potent stimulators of the immune system.The findings have been used to develop novel veterinary vaccines based of plant-expressed virus-like particles.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Nuffield Council on Bioethics: A workshop to discuss "The Culture of Research in the UK"
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL http://nuffieldbioethics.org
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation FGBI Federal Centre for Animal Health
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation James Hutton Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation Medical University of Plovdiv
Country Bulgaria 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation Moscow State University
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation Research Institute of Influenza Russia
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation Russian Academy of Sciences
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology
Country Spain 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation University of Turin
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Description FP7 PLAPROVA project 
Organisation University of Wageningen
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it.
Collaborator Contribution This was an EC FP7 project and the collaboration was intrinsic to it. The contributions of the partner were to the whole project.
Impact All the outputs were as a result of this multidisciplinary project
Start Year 2009
 
Title Protein expression systems 
Description The invention relates generally to methods and materials, and particularly viral derived sequences, for boosting gene expression in plants, for example of heterologous genes encoding proteins of interest. 
IP Reference WO2009087391 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed Yes
Impact The creation of Leaf Systems International
 
Company Name Leaf Systems International 
Description Leaf Systems® International Limited is a new contract development business specialising in the expression and production of proteins, metabolites and complex natural products for research and bio-medical applications using a proprietary, transient expression technology. Leaf Systems uses the proprietary Hypertrans® expression technologies developed by Prof.George Lomonossoff at the John Innes Centre, UK. The Hypertrans system allows for the simultaneous production of multiple gene products in a controlled and coordinated manner within the tissues of plants. Using gene synthesis and modular vectors, new products can be developed, validated, scaled and produced very quickly. Leaf Systems is employing state of the art containment facilities to produce and engineer its feedstock plants and has industry standard downstream processing capabilities to ensure production quality and bio-security. Leaf Systems works with companies as a contract development organisation to develop and scale the production of their products or intermediates. We also work alongside academic scientists to translate their science into scalable processes or to develop new enabling technologies, including as a collaborator on grants. Leaf Systems has SME status and is available to participate in translational research and development consortia, including EU framework programs. 
Year Established 2016 
Impact As it is less than a year old, it is too soon for Leaf Systems to have had an impact yet.
Website http://leafsystems.com
 
Description Case study to be used as A-level resource for teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Lomonossoff G. P., Thuenemann E., Bushell C."Plants as biofactories" - Case study to be published by Pearson in A-level text book
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk
 
Description EDP article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article in Eastern Daily Press entitled " New £5 centre for home-grown technology to develop vaccine", published 20/02/16. This relates to the launching of the Leaf Systems facility on Norwich Research Park
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.edp24.co.uk/home
 
Description GAP Summit, Cambridge 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I was part of an expert panel designed to promote Leadership in Biotechnology. The meeting took place on 05/04/16 in Trinity College, Cambridge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://www.cambridgeahead.co.uk/2016/02/gapsummit-2016/
 
Description Live interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Live interview on BBC Look East concerning Zika virus grant
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.edp24.co.uk/home
 
Description NanoBioMater 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lectured on "Plant viruses and virus-like particles as building blocks for bionanotechnology" at the NanoBioMater summer school, Bad Herrenalb, Germany, 22/06/15
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Opening of Leaf Systems facility 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Leaf Systems International Ltd, a spin out company built on the world-leading UK bioscience research, took place at the John Innes Centre, on 23/02/17. The facility was officially opened by Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. The event was covered by local media such as BBC Look East, Anglia Today and Mustard TV as well as the press.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/news/2017/01/leaf-systems-opened
 
Description Presentation at BrisSynBio 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact On 22/02/17 I visited BrisSynBio in Bristol to talk to people working there and to tour the facilities. I also delivered a lecture entitled: Transient expressions of synthetic biology in plants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2017
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/brissynbio/
 
Description Talk at "Pint of Science" event, Guildhall, Norwich 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I delivered a talk entitled "Just eat your greens - a new way of vaccinating?" on 27/10/16 at this event as part of the Norwich Science Festival.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://pintofscience.com/
 
Description Talk at Norwich Science Festival 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This talk, entitled "The Green Vaccine Machine" was delivered as part of the Norwich Science Festival on 24/10/16 at The Forum in Norwich.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2016
 
Description Workshop Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participated in Workshop: Production of pharmaceutical and industrial proteins in microalgae and plants, Manchester, UK, 01/05/15. Delivered lecture entitled "Making all kinds of everything: the joy of transient expression".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Wymondham High School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk to pupils at Wymondham High School, Norfolk: "Just eat your greens- a new way of vaccinating"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014