For several years, Denis Leclerc, a researcher with the CHUL’s Infectiology Centre in Quebec City, has taken an interest in papaya, or more specifically, in the papaya mosaic virus (PapMV), which produces nanoparticles with remarkable immunological properties.
Harmless to humans, these vegetal nanoparticles have made it possible to perfect an adjuvant, which in combination with a vaccine, serves to considerably increase the latter’s effectiveness.
A unique fact: compared to other vaccines, the adjuvant developed not only contributes to the production of antibodies but destroys the source of the infection. Indeed, its action stimulates the immune system, allowing it to kill the cells that produce the virus. The adjuvant offers those who produce vaccines against infectious diseases an invaluable advantage. It also provides glimpse of its potential for immunotherapeutic use against cancer.
Another advantage of these nanoparticles: their stability allows the long-term preservation of the vaccines. The adjuvant’s great application potential led to the establishment of Folia Biotech, a company that has begun the first phases of testing in order to have the adjuvant certified by regulatory agencies.
Patented in a number of countries, this versatile adjuvant should hold an important place on the world vaccine market.