Exclusive blockbuster!

The teams of Chen Wei and Zhong Nanshan have deployed new vaccine research and development

  Science and Technology Daily reporter Zhang Jiaxing

  The first press conference of the National Two Sessions in 2021 mentioned vaccine research and development.

Obviously, vaccines have become a hot word in the news.

  In addition to being "hot", vaccines also need to be "new".

  Recently, a reporter from Science and Technology Daily learned during the two sessions that the team of Academician Chen Wei and Academician Zhong Nanshan have separately deployed the research and development of new vaccines.

Cross-border "fusion"!

National Nano Center and Academician Chen Wei's Team Collaborate on New Vaccine Vectors

  The National Nano Center team is cooperating with the team of Academician Chen Wei of the Academy of Military Sciences to develop new vaccine nanocarriers!

  On March 3, Zhao Yuliang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and director of the National Nano Center, revealed in an interview with the Science and Technology Daily that the relevant cooperation has started last year and is currently proceeding in an orderly manner.

  "In terms of nanoparticle as a carrier, China's basic research is at the forefront of the world. However, in the past, there was no overlap between nano-scientists and vaccine developers. It was the new crown epidemic that ended between us. 'This situation.' Zhao Yuliang said.

  Some transformative new technologies have changed many areas, including vaccine development.

  For example, the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine that has entered emergency use abroad is to bring the RNA that stimulates antibodies in the body into the body through artificial nano "egg shells" (liposomal nanoparticle LNPs).

  The cooperation between the National Nano Center and the team of Academician Chen Wei is based on the previous research foundation of the two parties, and it hit it off.

  "We have accumulated more than ten years of research in the application of nanotechnology to drug delivery carriers." Zhao Yuliang drew an analogy. Nanocarriers are like a car with navigation, transporting drugs to designated locations, and on the one hand it improves The efficiency of the drug, on the other hand, reduces side effects.

  The team of Academician Chen Wei has been approved for the conditional listing of the new coronavirus vaccine, using adenovirus vector technology, and the Ebola virus vaccine previously approved for marketing also uses this technology.

"Viral vectors and nanocarriers have something in common. For example, both are about 100 nanometers in size." Zhao Yuliang said that the team of academician Chen Wei has unparalleled rich experience in vaccine design and other aspects.

  "In the past, there were blind spots between disciplines, for example, they did not know each other’s technology or research progress. How the country breaks this boundary or barrier between different fields to form sufficient intersection and integration should be to play the leading role of my country’s scientific and technological innovation. An important topic in the role." Zhao Yuliang said that the introduction of new technologies into the field of vaccine research and development is gradually attracting attention, and he hopes that there will be more exploration of mechanisms and systems in the "post-epidemic era."

Full chain innovation!

Academician Zhong Nanshan's team of new crown mRNA vaccine research and development is included in the national science and technology plan

  Just last Saturday, under the organization of Zhong Nanshan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of the National Respiratory Diseases Clinical Medicine Research Center, Zhang Biliang, a researcher at the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and founder of Guangzhou Ruibo Biotechnology, is a vaccine developer for China. A project report on the development and production of the new crown mRNA vaccine was carried out.

  The same is an mRNA vaccine. The mRNA vaccine developed by Zhang Biliang’s team is still effective when stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for half a year. However, due to different technologies, some of the existing mRNA vaccines in the world need to be at minus 70 degrees Celsius, and some need to be at minus below zero. Store at 20 degrees Celsius.

  With this advantage of "breaking the industry limit", the development and production of the new coronavirus mRNA vaccine (with Zhang Biliang as the project leader) has become a sub-project of the research project led by Academician Zhong Nanshan, and has been included in the fourth batch of the Ministry of Science and Technology's new coronary pneumonia key research and development plan.

  "We have our own patented technology." In Zhang Biliang's view, if the mRNA vaccine is compared to an egg, the "egg shell" for delivering the mRNA vaccine is essentially a lipid compound. Different companies (such as Modena, Pfizer, etc.) Looking for different "formulations", through the improvement of particles or ions to make it safe and stable, the core of the technology is the chemical problem in the final analysis.

  Compared with drugs, vaccines are used by ordinary people, and the safety requirements of the carrier are extremely high, and there are more special requirements-let the mRNA be expressed in the body for a short time and efficiently, and "disappear" immediately after the task is completed.

  Based on the previous drug carrier research and development experience, the team developed its own lipid nanoparticles for the new coronavirus vaccine.

  The reason why the storage temperature of the new crown mRNA vaccine of Zhang Biliang's team can be greatly increased is also due to its patented lipid nanoparticles.

  The design and development of "egg heart" antigen mRNA is Zhang Biliang, who has studied and researched for many years from the Nobel laureate in the RNA field. The "carving" of molecular-scale RNA modification and three-dimensional conformation manipulation can be said to be easy.

  If the advanced nature of the core technology is the "top-of-the-sky" support for a vaccine, then a stable industrialization capability is the key to a vaccine's "stalwart".

  Since 2004, Ruibo has provided RNA production services for the research institute. From synthetic oligonucleotides, RNA to RNA polymerase, the integrity of the entire industrial chain has been established.

  "We have the largest mRNA raw material production workshop in China." Zhang Biliang told a reporter from Science and Technology Daily that the expression system of RNA polymerase also has independent intellectual property rights and can rapidly expand production.

  In terms of mRNA production, the company has also made sufficient preparations. The maximum annual output of the existing plant is sufficient for approximately 100 million vaccine doses.

  An mRNA vaccine sounds simple, but there are many links from synthetic raw materials, to auxiliary enzymes, to preparation production. To produce vaccines for the people, any innovation in the whole chain must not be lost.

  Speaking of the latest research and development progress, he told a reporter from Science and Technology Daily: "We have completed the preclinical research phases such as animal challenge trials, and are actively moving forward steadily."

  Undoubtedly, the new crown epidemic has stimulated an unprecedented wave of biomedicine innovation, especially in the field of vaccine research and development, where a large number of scientific research forces, social resources, and financial capital have gathered. How should China's scientific research field take advantage of the trend?

  On the other hand, the development of new vaccines will inevitably lead to an industrial chain starting from scratch. How to plan and deploy to stay behind in international competition?

  Facing these two issues, as leaders in scientific research and innovation, Academician Zhong Nanshan and Academician Chen Wei must have profound and forward-looking thinking. They are playing first moves in the practice led by scientific and technological innovation!