Novel Approaches for HIV Vaccines that Elicit Neutralizing Antibodies: gp41 Locked in Fusion-intermediate Conformation
Inventors: Stephen Harrison, Bing Chen, Gary Frey
Invention Types: Therapeutics
Research Areas: Infectious Disease
Keywords: VaccineFor More Information Contact: Caron, Connie
HIV/AIDS is a major global epidemic problem affecting 0.8% of worldwide population and causing ~2 million deaths each year in the entire world. As of the end of 2017, approximately 36.9 million persons worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS, of which 2.5 million were newly infected during the year. A successful HIV vaccine has been elusive, due to the failure to produce an immuogen that elicits the robust production of protective, neutralizing antibodies in the recipient. Drs. Chen and Harrison developed a protein structure-based paradigm to vaccine design, incorporating the understanding of the dynamic changes in protein structure that occur on viral entry into the cell.
Understanding the dynamic structure of the HIV gp41 envelop protein during viral entry, the researchers have developed gp41 protein variants that locks the protein in a conformation that is normally exposed only transiently during viral entry. Immunization with this protein elicits strong neutralizing antibody production in model animals. Further, the gp41 proteins provide a platform for screening therapeutic compounds that specifically disrupt HIV viral entry
• Immunogens for an HIV vaccine that elicit robust neutralizing antibody production.
• Therapeutic screening reagents for viral entry inhibitors
Current AIDS treatment (HAART) is expensive and offers no cure. A preventive vaccine is greatly needed, in particular for developing countries where costly medicines are often unavailable and disease transmission continues unchecked. Currently, no one has successfully developed an HIV vaccine.
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Key Publications: Frey G, et al. A fusion-intermediate state of HIV-1 gp41 targeted by broadly neutralizing antibodies. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008 Mar 11;105(10):3739-44.
Related Publications: Patent Number: US 8,741,310