For many major indications, a good vaccine has to stimulate cellular responses. To that end, an ideal viral vector would need to deliver the antigenic payload within dendritic cells (DC).
Lentiviral vectors are the only viral vectors able to efficiently deliver their genetic material within the nucleus of dendritic cells. Indeed unlike other retroviruses, lentiviruses are able to replicate in non-dividing cells while, contrary to adenoviruses, they also have a high tropism for dendritic cells.
Investigations conducted at the Molecular Virology & Vectorology lab of the Pasteur Institute have led to the discovery of the “DNA Flap” sequence (or Triplex DNA, with a length of 99 nucleotides) which forms during the natural reverse transcription of lentivirus and allows the virus to cross the nucleus membrane. The DNA Flap is thus the key to infecting non-dividing cells.
As a spin-off of the Pasteur Institute, Theravectys benefits from this major scientific discovery and develops a new generation of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines based on the use of lentiviral vectors.
These T-cell vaccines transduce efficiently dendritic cells and therefore have the unrivaled breakthrough capacity to induce cellular immune responses.