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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 241--243

New generation vaccine: Novel approaches of vaccine design and delivery and current challenges of vaccine development

Seema Bansal1, Ajay Prakash2, Bikash Medhi2,  
1 Department of Pharmacology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh; Department of Pharmacology, MM College of Pharmacy, Maharishi Markandeshwar (Deemed to be University), Mullana, Haryana, India
2 Department of Pharmacology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Bikash Medhi
Department of Pharmacology, Room No: 4044, 4th Floor, Research Block B, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh

How to cite this article:
Bansal S, Prakash A, Medhi B. New generation vaccine: Novel approaches of vaccine design and delivery and current challenges of vaccine development.Indian J Pharmacol 2022;54:241-243

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Bansal S, Prakash A, Medhi B. New generation vaccine: Novel approaches of vaccine design and delivery and current challenges of vaccine development. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 28 ];54:241-243
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Discovery of live attenuated/killed whole organism vaccines is one of the most important findings in the medical field, which has eradicated many life-threatening diseases such as small pox, rubella, polio, mumps, tetanus, and diphtheria. However, rapid emergence of deadly diseases such as SARS-CoV-2, H1N1, Ebola generate a challenge for conventional vaccines, development of which takes around decade and even more time is needed to scale up the manufacturing. Therefore, by the time a vaccine is developed and scale-up many get sick and lose their lives. To prevent associated risk, limitations and reduce the vaccine development duration next generation technologies/approaches have been designed. Despite of three I s paradigm (isolate, inactivate, and inject), these vaccines are focused on an approach of rational design, pathogen host interaction, targeted delivery of vaccines, and control release profile. Present editorial will focus on detailed overview of next generation vaccines their design, development as well as challenges and future perspectives.

 Novel Approaches for Vaccine Design

Virus-like particles

This type of vaccines is formulated by self-assembly of high density viral capsid proteins without infectious nucleic acid of virus. It provides virus-like particles (VLPs) a safer alternative of traditional attenuated vaccines due to their inability to replicate. VLPs are simpler in composition thereby allowing fast production of vaccines and useful for influenza type highly mutating pathogens. VLPs takes very small time around 3–12 weeks for production after a new strain sequenced as compared to traditional vaccines which take around 10 years.[1]

Conjugate vaccines

Vaccine in which a weak antigen is conjugate with strong antigen to enhance the immunogenic response of weak antigen. The method requires a careful pairing and orientation between helper and target portion. As compared with traditional vaccines, conjugate vaccines are low-price and simple to manufacture resulting in less chances of contamination. Hib conjugate vaccine is the most commonly used approved vaccine.[2]

Nucleic acid vaccines

Nucleic acid-based vaccines are revolutionary techniques in the field of immunisation that generate immune responses similar to live, attenuated vaccines. Endogenous production of viral proteins with native conformation, glycosylation patterns, and other posttranslational changes occurs after nucleic acid vaccines are administered, simulating antigen produced during natural viral infection. Nucleic acid vaccines provoke both cytotoxic T-lymphocyte and antibody response against a variety of protein antigens. Ease of the vector, its distribution and expression are the major advantages these vaccines.[3]

Cellular vaccines

These vaccines are given with the intention of eliciting effective cellular and antibody-mediated responses particular for antigens generated only by cancer cells, leading to immunologic targeting of cancer cells. Due to its fine specificity and lack of incidental tissue harm observed with other traditional medications such as chemotherapy, the possibility to engage the adaptive immune system as a focused tool against cancer appeals. However, finding immunogenic tumor-specific antigen targets, choosing a platform to deliver the antigens, and enhancing the immune-stimulatory environment in which the vaccines are administered are few challenges faced during development of cellular vaccines.[4]

 Novel Approaches of Vaccine Delivery

Liposomes, polymeric particles, inorganic particles, plant like material, infectious material, outer membrane vesicles, immune-stimulating complexes, and emulsions are the novel approaches used for vaccine delivery.

Most often, liposomes are utilized in vaccines as an adjuvant or a delivery system. When used in conjunction with liposomes, immunostimulatory chemicals such as cytokines or Toll-like receptor agonists can be delivered to target immune cells, reducing systemic exposure to these adjuvant substances. In a diphtheria toxin vaccination, liposomes were used for the first time in 1974. Since then, hepatitis A (Epaxal) and influenza vaccinations using liposomes have been (Inflexal V) developed.

Due to their slow rate of biodegradation, polymeric particles which come in a variety of natural and synthetic varieties - may either entrap or adsorb antigen for delivery to particular cells or they can allow for antigen release over time. In clinical trials, Advax, an insulin-derived polymeric micro particle, was employed as an adjuvant for hepatitis B, influenza, and insect-sting allergy vaccinations.

To boost the immune response, inorganic particles are used as adjuvants and antigen delivery systems. The most often utilized inorganic particles are calcium phosphate, aluminum, silica, and gold.

Because these vaccines are inexpensive and simple to administer orally, plant cells are also a desirable vaccine delivery system. Bacteria, viruses, and other infectious agents can be genetically altered by another pathogen. These bacterial and viral strains are used to make vaccines, which are thought to be safe. Outer membrane vesicles provide a different kind of platform for vaccine administration.[5]

 Challenges and Limitations for New Generation Vaccines

Understanding of the immune components that stimulate antibody production against infection, knowledge of parameters to be measured to determine efficacy of the vaccine form an important requirement of vaccine production. The collection of such data is mainly dependent upon availability of patients who are naturally recovered from infection or via availability of animal models which responds to infection similar to as that of disease occurring in human. Wherever, these components are missing development of vaccination becomes more problematic and raise serious concerns about safety issues. For example in the discovery of COVID-19 vaccine the major limitation is the lack of validated animal models to facilitate vaccine candidates against COVID-19 and absence of fundamental aspects of virus biology and immunity. At present, antigen selection methods have been changed due to development of high throughput screening and bioinformatics. Via these approaches, scientists can identify new and emerging pathogens. Despite these newer technologies impacts of genomic approaches in the market is not much, due to antigenic variability of pathogens, lag of adjuvants availability and delivery systems. Apart from this, due to the high expenses of vaccine research, potentially helpful products are abandoned too soon.[6] Barriers playing a role in case of new generation vaccines development are summarized in [Figure 1].{Figure 1}


Developing a successful vaccine, particularly a viral vaccination, is typically driven by decades of fundamental research into viral biology and the host response to infection. This is inconceivable for a disease like SARS-CoV-2, which is rapidly spreading and incredibly virulent and for which a vaccine is sorely needed. The introduction of seasonal (or additional) waves of infection and disease will almost probably require vaccination, even while behavioural changes may delay the spread of infections. Given the numerous unanswered questions regarding coronavirus immunity, there is some risk involved with rapid vaccine development during a pandemic. However, this uncertainty must be weighed against the high rate of infection.


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