ERC Advanced Grant – “Isolation and screening of human monoclonal antibodies against AMR for therapy and for discovery of novel vaccine antigens”
General aspects The reasearch project aims at producing vaccines able to contrast antibiotic bacterial resistance. The project will last 5 years and represents one of the most important scientific challenges of our time, financed with 2,5 million euros. The project, led by Dr. Rino Rappuoli, a pioneer in the vaccine field, obtained an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant and will be realised in cooperation with Toscana Life Sciences Foundation (TLS) as “host institution”. TLS will provide for laboratories, technology platforms and expertise inside an innovative and stimulating environment.
Research activities “Isolation and screening of human monoclonal antibodies against AMR for therapy and for discovery of novel vaccine antigens” aims, through isolation of natural antibodies and identification of the recognised antigens, at developing vaccines able to defeat Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Gonococcus), Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pneumococcus) and Escherichia coli pathogenic strains. How? Through the application of advanced technologies to reverse vaccinology developed by Rino Rappuoli at the end of ‘90s and now proposed again with a 2.0 approach. The idea, based on the completely sequenced genomes of pathogenic bacteria, allowed, in the last 20 years, the development of vaccines once very difficult to produce. Today, with the new high throughput cloning, sequencing and screening platforms, new opportunities are opened to contrast antimicrobial resistance, a phenomenon which causes, according with the WHO, about 700,000 deceases per year with a forecast for 2050 of more than 10 million deaths, even more than those caused nowadays by cancer.