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Advanced immunological drugs and cell-based approaches in pharmacy




01. January 2022 - 31. December 2027


2,5 FTE


Žiga Jakopin


1-09 Natural sciences and Mathematics - Pharmacy, 3.01 Medical sciences/ Microbiology and immunology

Research Organisation:

Advanced immunological drugs and cell-based approaches in pharmacy


Advanced immunological drugs and cell-based approaches in pharmacy


Advanced immunological drugs and cell-based approaches in pharmacy


The development of safe and effective vaccines against infectious diseases such as SARS-CoV2, Zika, malaria, Ebola and the emerging zoonoses is a major goal in global public health. Also, cancer clearly remains one of the leading causes of disease and mortality worldwide. Recent advances in immunotherapy and cell therapy established them as potential new modalities for treatment of cancer. Immunotherapy is also an important approach in the causal treatment of allergies. These major topics are not covered well by the existing research programmes in Slovenia. These research areas, which are always among the main priorities of EU funding schemes, have been somewhat neglected and underfunded. To that end, we proposed a new programme, centered around the immune system and based on four basic work-packages: (i) Next-generation vaccines; (ii) Immunotherapy and cell therapy of cancer; (iii) Immunotherapy and cell therapy of allergies; and (iv) Immunotoxicology. Within the framework of the first platform, we will cover all stages of development of innovative vaccines (classic vaccines, next-generation vaccines, tumor vaccines, vaccines for immunotherapy of allergies): expression of proteins, DNA or RNA and their isolation and purification; development of synthetic adjuvants; development of formulations or advanced delivery systems and labeling with ligands for targeted delivery; in vitro immunopharmacological evaluation; in vivo preclinical evaluation of efficacy and safety of vaccines. In the second platform, immunotherapy and cell therapy as advanced approaches for cancer treatment, we will focus on the: development of innovative innate immune agonists for cancer treatment, use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as a delivery system for targeting cancer tissues, study of new synergistic drug combinations with anticancer activity and in vitro evaluation of anticancer activity. The third platform relies on the use of immunotherapy and the immunosuppressive action of MSCs in the treatment of allergies. In the scope of the platform we will study the immunotoxic effects of small molecules in vitro and evaluate the immunogenicity of proteins.

Bibliographical references, arising directly from the implementation of the project: