AchilleS has inherited the enormous know-how and expertise on vaccines thanks to the work carried out over the years, frequently in the fertile ecosystem of the Siena Vaccine Hub, on bacteria and viruses. Based on the technology called Reverse Vaccinology, a scientific method introduced by Dr. Rino Rappuoli in the 1990s, AchilleS aims to develop a revolutionary approach to research and development of new vaccines
Therefore, a team of first-class experts in the field of malaria and vaccinology has been joined to the best talents in the field of data science and artificial intelligence to face the challenge aimed at synergizing three scientific areas developed independently but strongly integrated: research on malaria, vaccinology and artificial intelligence applied to science. In this way we obtain the result of the birth of a new, powerful bio-informatics platform, called Lab 4.0, a tool that can optimize laboratory procedures, data collection and analysis with the aim of achieving better R&D outputs, at lower cost and in much faster time.
AchilleS can benefit from the use of information contained in clinically relevant libraries of immortalized B memory cells. Thanks to the fundamental work of Prof. A. Lanzavecchia, who applied this advanced technology in the field of malaria with libraries originating from endemic countries, with the approach described as follows.
After isolation, human B-memory cells are immortalized using Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and then activated as plasma cells. They are kept in single-cell cultures using interleukin 6 (IL- &) or stromal cells and multiple high-performance cell assays are performed on them; for example, functional assays for identifying rare cells that produce antibodies with unique properties. Thanks to this, it is possible to isolate potent and largely neutralizing antibodies, and therefore the possibility of identifying the efficiency of antibodies and, consequently, the most promising candidates for vaccine design.