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A nanoparticle-based vaccine against leishmaniasis

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AI091234-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI091234
Amount: $599,977.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA10-124
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
BOX 8175
United States
DUNS: 142406110
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (203) 785-4481
Business Contact
Phone: (203) 393-9439
Research Institution
NEW HAVEN, CT 06520-8047
United States

 () -
 Nonprofit College or University

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose to develop a recombinant subunit vaccine against cutaneous leishmaniasis. This vaccine will incorporate two protein antigens, TSA/TryP and P-4. Both antigens are highly conserved among Leishmania species, arerecognized by T cells of human patients, and confer protection against a live challenge in murine model studies. We expect that immunization using PLGA nanoparticles together with these two proteins will confer protection against disease caused by many ofthe Leishmania species. Recombinantly expressed TSA/TryP and P-4 proteins will be formulated into PLGA nanoparticles containing one of two adjuvants, namely a CpG oligonucleotide and/or monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA). Different formulations will be evaluated for immunogenicity and duration of the immune response (memory) in mice. We expect that proteins encapsulated in PLGA particles will elicit long-lasting immune responses. Protection against Leishmania has been shown to be mediated primarily by T-cells,and in particular CD4+/CD8+ T-cells double-positive or triple-positive for IL-2, TNFalpha, and IFN-gamma. We will select the two formulations eliciting the highest proportion responding CD4/CD8 T cells. These two formulations will then be tested for efficacy in two murine models of leishmaniasis. The first model is a challenge with L. major, the main species responsible for leishmaniasis in the Old World. The second model is an infection with L. (Viannia) panamensis, a model for New World leishmaniasis andpossibly a more stringent test of vaccine efficacy. In Phase II of this project, we anticipate testing the efficacy of the most promising formulation in non-human primate models of leishmaniasis. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Leishmaniasis is a serious parasitic disease endemic in many subtropical countries. It is estimated that more than 12 million individuals are infected globally and 1-2 million contract the disease annually. Further, hundreds of US military personnel developed leishmaniasis after being deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan; some cases have also occurred in the Southern United States. We propose to develop a vaccine to prevent this disease.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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