Characterization of the size distribution and aggregation of virus-like nanoparticles used as active ingredients of the HeberNasvac therapeutic vaccine against chronic hepatitis B*

Matilde Lopez, Elias Nelson Rodriguez, Yadira Lobaina, Alexis Musacchio, Viviana Falcon, Gerardo Guillen and Julio C Aguilar

  • ANSN Editor
Keywords: nano


The use of virus-like particles (VLPs) as antigens constitutes a well established strategy in preventive vaccination. These non-infective particles have a composition, size, and structure favoring their interaction and processing by the immune system. Recombinant viral nucleocapsids encapsulating bacterial nucleic acids result in potent Th1-driving immunogens. Several antigens have been coadministered with VLPs or conjugated to them to further increase their immunogenicity. In the present work we characterize the size distribution of two different recombinant VLPs obtained as components of HeberNasvac, a novel therapeutic vaccine recently registered to treat chronic hepatitis B. The vaccine ingredients, hepatitis B virus surface and nucleocapsid antigens (HBsAg and HBcAg, respectively) and the vaccine formulation, were evaluated using dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and light obscuration technology. The results demonstrate that both antigens are nanoparticles with sizes ranging between 20–30 nm, in line with reports in the literature. In addition, DLS studies evidenced the capacity of both antigens to form homologous and heterologous aggregates, both as active ingredients as well as being part of the final product. The evaluation of subvisible particles in HeberNasvac formulation fulfills the requirements in terms of quantity and size established for parenteral pharmaceutical compositions

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