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Nanobody-based targeted therapy to combat zoonotic viral infections

Timeline

Starting in 2020

Group and collaboration

Dr. S. Oliveira, Pharmaceutics Division, Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Biophysics, Dept. of Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University
Dr. P.M.P. van Bergen en Henegouwen, Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Biophysics, Dept. of Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University
Dr. C.A.M. de Haan, Virology, Department of Infectious diseases and Immunology, Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University

PhD student: -

Project description

The present rate of generation and approval of human vaccines or therapeutic antibodies is too low to control newly emerging virus diseases as seen during the recent Ebola virus outbreaks. To increase our pandemic preparedness, there is an urgent need for preventive antiviral strategies with broad-range efficacy to control future emerging zoonotic viruses. This PhD-project complements the existing consortium strategy by including complementary expertise on single domain antibody (nanobody) technology. “In this project, novel nanobodies binding to conserved epitopes on viral proteins from corona and influenza viruses will be generated. After thorough characterisation of their binding properties, these nanobodies will subsequently be explored for application in diagnosis, protection, and treatment of viral infection of both men and animals.”

Tasks / Deliverables

  • Nanobodies specifically binding to the different virus proteins.
  • Broadly reactive anti-corona virus nanobodies.
  • Broadly reactive anti-Influenza A subtype nanobodies.
  • Insight into neutralising capacity of these nanobodies and their mode of action.
  • Nanobody-drug conjugates with broad anti-viral specificity.
  • Nanoparticles conjugated to nanobodies for targeted delivery.
  • Insight into the ability of functionalised nanobodies to kill infected cells and limit infection in vitro (UU-Vir) and in vivo (EMC).

Disease Intervention Strategies is the overarching theme for more than 10 PhD tracks in NCOH projects to create new interdisciplinary, inter-thematic, and inter-institutional research collaborations.