Amphiphiles Deliver Small Payloads
The largest protein component in the blood and lymph is albumin. Its one-way drainage from tissue into lymph vessels has been used for years to aid doctors in visualizing draining lymph nodes during tumor resections. By engineering lipophilic molecules to mimic one of albumin’s natural targets (fatty acids), Vedantra’s amphiphile technology hitchhikes on endogenous albumin to carry small payloads to the lymph node.
Once there, amphiphilic payloads are taken up by APCs to drive potent T and B cell responses. This strategy has been used to improve activity of adjuvants that normally show significant toxicity in conjunction with whole protein antigens, as well as with peptide antigens that generate little to no response when used in their soluble forms. With their flexible chemistry, amphiphile constructs can be generated from many types of molecules. In conjunction with solid-phase synthesis, amphiphile conjugates can be inexpensively generated quickly at GMP, providing an ideal platform to improve responses against peptide antigens.