Gene Synthesis Accelerates Vaccine Research

Vaccine Research Applications for Gene Synthesis

Gene synthesis is routinely used in vaccine research, from basic studies in immunology and microbiology that are critical for rational vaccine design, to cutting-edge DNA vaccine drug development efforts. New vaccines are needed to control emerging threats such as Ebola Virus as well as persistent infectious viruses such as seasonal Influenza A. Cancer Vaccines can act both prophylactically to prevent infection by oncogenic viruses and therapeutically to stimulate an immune attack on tumors. Vaccine Development can be greatly expedited by the use of gene synthesis; GenScript's Rush Gene Synthesis helped Novavax develop a vaccine candidate for avian influenza A/H7N9 in record time of only 28 days, less than 6 weeks after initial reports of H7N9 infections in April 2013.
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Vaccine design studies can benefit from the unique advantages offered by Gene Synthesis. For example, codon optimization can be harnessed in different ways for different types of vaccine research and development:

For DNA vaccine development, gene synthesis can be used to construct gene cassettes that drive expression of specific antigenic proteins, codon-optimized synthetic genes encoding adjuvants, and specialized vectors optimized for safety. Gene synthesis is also used extensively in basic virology and microbiology research to understand mechanisms of how infection occurs and how the immune system responds to specific pathogens.


  1. Shedlock et al. Co-Administration of Molecular Adjuvants Expressing NF-Kappa B Subunit p65/RelA or Type-1 Transactivator T-bet Enhance Antigen Specific DNA Vaccine-Induced Immunity. Vaccines. 2014 Feb; 196-215
  2. Nogales et al., Influenza A Virus Attenuation by Codon Deoptimization of the NS Gene for Vaccine Development J. Virol. 2014 Sep 15;88(18):10525-40.
  3. McLellan et al. Structure of RSV fusion glycoprotein trimer bound to a prefusion-specific neutralizing antibody. Science 340, 1113–1117 (2013).

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