Adenovirus Vaccine Platform

Preclinical trials support the potential for a new single-cycle vaccine engine that could improve vaccine efficacy for infectious diseases and even cancer.

As a co-developer of the single-cycle vector platform, Dr. Barry has been engineering new ways to deliver genes to cells and even to amplify those genes, and the specific proteins that they produce, within targeted cells. Called single-cycle adenoviruses, these vectors can amplify one copy of DNA up to 10,000 times in cells and produce 100 times more antigens per vector.

Antigen proteins are used to activate the immune system to produce protective antibodies. By amplifying a specific antigen, such as the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen, researchers in Dr. Barry's Virology, Vector and Vaccine Engineering Lab hope to, in turn:

  • Amplify immune response
  • Increase vaccine potency
  • Reduce the amount of vaccine needed per person

Dr. Barry's team has been dropping different vaccine antigens into the vector to test against different viruses. Recently, this technology has been applied to SARS-CoV-2 using novel vaccine vectors. His group has been looking at administering the amplified antigens at mucosal sites, where most pathogens enter the body. For example, an intranasal vaccine could be a potent form of delivery.

Mayo Clinic's single-cycle adenovirus vaccine platform has been licensed to a privately held biopharmaceutical company, which has begun a phase 1 clinical study using the platform for developing COVID-19 vaccines.