Doggybone™ DNA (dbDNA) is an innovative technology developed by biotech company Touchlight, with applications in genetic engineering and therapeutics. Plasmids, small circular double-stranded DNA molecules, are the basis of dbDNA. These plasmids can be utilized as vectors in genetic engineering, allowing specific genes to be inserted into bacterial chromosomal DNA and mass-produced to create large quantities of proteins.
The production of dbDNA involves using protelomerase recognition sequences to flank the gene of interest, resulting in a linear plasmid structure. The technology enables cost-effective and rapid scalability, as it can be produced abiotically without the need for bacterial cultures, using rolling circle amplification.
Compared to mRNA vaccines produced using bacterial vectors, dbDNA offers a more cost-effective and scalable method for vaccine production. Pfizer has acquired the right to use dbDNA in manufacturing COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Studies on dbDNA-based vaccines in animal models have shown promising results, inducing cross-variant neutralizing antibodies and providing protection from viral challenges.
The minimal nature of dbDNA, containing only the functional gene of interest and necessary end groups, may offer advantages in terms of patient safety and minimizing off-target effects. Furthermore, the lack of innate immune recognition towards dbDNA might induce a more controlled immune response desired for a vaccine. Future research will likely explore incorporating dbDNA into vector platforms for clinical application. The cost-effectiveness and potential benefits of dbDNA manufacture make it a promising technology for future vaccine development.
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