You are here

Advancing Formulation of STING agonist for Universal Flu Vaccine

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AI140795-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI140795
Amount: $277,218.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA17-303
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-10-31
Small Business Information
Sunnyvale, CA 94087-4256
United States
DUNS: 080816637
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (919) 962-4556
Business Contact
Phone: (408) 730-8588
Research Institution
United States

 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

Influenza virusa member of the orthomyxovirus familyhas three different types that infect humansABand
CTypes A and B produce annual epidemicsand type A influenzawhich resides asymptomatically in birdscan cause pandemic infections in humansIn addition to common flu like symptomse gfeverchillsmalaisemuscle painin susceptible populations influenza can induce potentially fatal secondary complications including
bronchitispneumoniaand acute respiratory distressWorldwideinfluenza infection can cause up tomillion
severe cases anddeaths per yearInfluenza is also a considerable economic burden with an estimated
annual cost of $billion in the U SaloneExisting antivirals can treat influenza but must be given withinhours of infection to be effectiveAdditionallymany flu strains have developed complete resistance to older
antiviralsThereforethe best method to dampen the spread of disease is preventative vaccinationEven though
traditional influenza vaccines have been on the market since thesthey have several limitationsdependence on egg based technology to grow the viruslimited worldwide vaccine availabilitydecreased
efficacy in the elderlyand lack of cross reactivity with various influenza strainsEach yearbased on predictions
from the WHO and CDC recommendationsmanufacturers formulate the flu vaccine using just three to four killed
or attenuated virusesSincethe influenza vaccine has beeneffective on average with some years
showing very low effectiveness of onlyThis poor effectiveness is likely due to the targeted viral strains
undergoing antigenic drift and or shiftDevelopment of auniversal flu vaccineusing safe recombinanti enot
egg basedsubunit antigens could potentially help overcome the drawbacks of the current influenza vaccine
strategyIn order to develop a universal vaccine the immune system must generate a response against
conserved epitopes that are found on many different strains of influenzaThese epitopes include the stalk domain
of HAthe matrix proteinectodomainand other proteins that induce CDT cell activity against the virusIn
order to generate an effective immune response against these subunit antigensan adjuvant must be coadministered to provide protectionWe have preliminary data demonstrating that a novel adjuvant encapsulated
in a proprietary microparticleMPcan induce a T helpercellular immune responseand using a universal
influenza antigen it can help to provide superior protection against a lethal challenge compared to other
commercially available adjuvantsas well as cross reactive antibodies across different viral subtypesBased on
this preliminary data we propose scaling up the fabrication of these MPsThe data collected from this proposal
would allow us to manufacture these MPs on an industrial scaleWe will validate that the MP adjuvanted subunit
antigen can protect against influenza infection and generate an immune response similar to what was fabricated
in the bench top settingWe will also study the sterilization of these MPswhich is an important step in the
potential manufacturing of the proposed MP platformThe data generated in this proposal will be crucial for a
Phase II application Narrative
Each year the yearly flu shot can become ineffective due to mutations in the influenza virusBy using proteins
that are more conserved between different strains of influenza a universal flu vaccine can be generatedBecause these proteins are not terribly immunogenicwe propose the incorporation of a novel antigen in a
biopolymer microparticle !

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government