The use of nucleic acid as a drug substance for vaccines and other gene-based medicines continues to evolve. Here, we have used a technology originally developed for mRNA in vivo delivery to enhance the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines. We demonstrate that neutralizing antibodies produced in rabbits and nonhuman primates injected with lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-formulated Andes virus or Zika virus DNA vaccines are elevated over unformulated vaccine. Using a plasmid encoding an anti-poxvirus monoclonal antibody (as a reporter of protein expression), we showed that improved immunogenicity is likely due to increased in vivo DNA delivery, resulting in more target protein. Specifically, after four days, up to 30‚ÄČng/mL of functional monoclonal antibody were detected in the serum of rabbits injected with the LNP-formulated DNA. We pragmatically applied the technology to the production of human neutralizing antibodies in a transchromosomic (Tc) bovine for use as a passive immunoprophylactic. Production of neutralizing antibody was increased by >10-fold while utilizing 10 times less DNA in the Tc bovine. This work provides a proof-of-concept that LNP formulation of DNA vaccines can be used to produce more potent active vaccines, passive countermeasures (e.g., Tc bovine), and as a means to produce more potent DNA-launched immunotherapies.

References

PubMed