Patent WO2020237100 – YEAST-BASED ORAL VACCINATION – Oral vaccination via FOOD

Comment: It would appear that this patent is about producing a vaccine that could be administered orally through food intake. It involves making the yeast cell wall permeable by using a permeabilizing agent, such as a cell wall degrading enzyme, to be able to impregnate the yeast with “vims-like particles” or enveloped vims-like particles”. (Vimentin is a structural protein that in humans is encoded by the VIM gene.) So this sounds like more genetic modification through vaccines. Having to rely on health professionals to administer vaccines limits the number of people to whom vaccines can be administered, so introducing the vaccines into food products means that all human beings can be administered vaccines, presumably without having to bother with such petty concerns as informed consent. Time to urgently cultivate a relationship with your local farmer and quit going to supermarkets, folks!

WO2020237100 Abstract

Various recombinant yeast suitable for use in oral vaccination, vaccine compositions, food compositions, methods of vaccinating an animal, and related methods, kits, and nucleic acid molecules are described.

Vaccination is an inexpensive and effective method for reducing and preventing human disease. Unfortunately, though, global vaccination rates still leave about 15% of the world’s population susceptible to preventable disease. Many conventional vaccines rely on injections administered by healthcare professionals, which inherently limits the number of patients that can be treated. Furthermore, injection-based vaccines often have significant storage and handling requirements, which can inhibit the scaling of production, delivery, and administration efforts.

[004] Yeast based vaccine platforms have been described for high-volume vaccine production and/or use as an oral vaccination. See, U.S. 10,117,915. However, to-date, such platforms do not efficiently release complex immunogens such as vims like particles or enveloped vims like particles.

[005] A need exists, therefore, for improved vaccines, vaccine components, vaccine compositions, and related methods, kits, and other vaccine -related technology.

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WO2020237100 SUMMARY

[006] The present inventors have unexpectedly discovered that regulated permeabilization of the cell wall in recombinant yeast cell that expresses an immunogen, e.g., a vims like particle or enveloped vims like particle, can significantly improve immunogen release by the recombinant yeast. Without wishing to be bound by theory, the present inventors hypothesize that, by inducing regulated permeabilization using one or more methods described herein, the amount of immunogen (e.g., in the form of a VLP comprising the immunogen and/or containing a packaged nucleic acid sequence encoding the immunogen) released can be improved as compared to a recombinant yeast cell that is not permeablized; the degree of recombinant yeast cell viability can be maintained at a higher level as compared to previously described permeabilization methods; the efficacy of the resulting vaccine composition can be increased; and/or immunogen release can be more selective as compared to previously described methods. One or more of these improvements, in turn, can significantly improve the amount or purity of immunogen recovered in an in vitro immunogen production method; the amount of immunogen provided to antigen presenting cells by the yeast; and/or the amount of immunogen released by a recombinant yeast cell in the gastrointestinal tract of a subject having been administered the recombinant yeast cell.

[007] Regulated permeabilization can be induced by inducing expression of a cell wall permabilizing agent, such as a cell wall degrading enzyme (e.g., mannase, glucanase, chitinase, or combination thereof), inducing expression of an inhibitor of cell wall biosynthesis, or by reducing or eliminating expression of a component of the cell wall biosynthesis pathway in a regulated manner.

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