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Accelerating the Manufacture and Scale up of Virus-like Particle Vaccines

The focus of this project is to develop and demonstrate rapid manufacturing, characterization and process development of virus-like particles (VLPs).

Industry Need

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry can continue to benefit from more advances to help improve and accelerate vaccine manufacturing processes to bolster the nation’s pandemic response capability.  



MIT will demonstrate the rapid production of virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidates manufactured using a transposon-based system. This process involves co-transfection to yield polyclonal cell lines that secrete self-assembling SARS-CoV-2 VLPs containing the four viral structural proteins.  

The team’s expertise in synthetic biology, biological process modeling and control, machine learning, and manufacturing process development can help shorten timelines for process development and scale-up. 

The MIT team aims to improve product development of VLPs, mechanistic modeling for rapid-cycle process development and improved process control.


By demonstrating this transposon-based system, the team will provide industry with tools and approaches to rapidly develop and manufacture effective virus-like particle vaccines, adding robustness to the nation’s pandemic response to emerging viruses.

Updates, Related Publications, and Deliverables

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Project Lead

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology