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Development of Highly Effective Vaccine to Prevent Fish Tuberculosis for Aquaculture

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2008-00418
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
145 N. Sierra Madre, Suite #5
Pasadena, CA 91107
United States
DUNS: 011114167
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Hiep-Hoa Nguyen
 (714) 791-1774
Business Contact
 Hiep-Hoa Nguyen
Title: President
Phone: (626) 535-9496
Research Institution

Recombinant subunit vaccines are gaining traction in recent development efforts and will constitute the majority of vaccines in the future. One of the major problems in designing recombinant protein subunit vaccines is that the antigens are often membrane proteins found on the surface of the pathogens. Expression technologies commercially available are not effective in producing correctly folded and functional membrane proteins. When these protein expression methods are used to express membrane proteins, they will either fail to express or appear as insoluble materials, devoid of any biological activities. Correct and appropriate antigen presentation is crucial for efficient induction of immunity responses. In recombinant subunit vaccines or vaccine candidates made to date, the surface membrane protein antigens made using recombinant protein expression technologies have been obtained in the form of misfolded inclusion bodies. As a result of inappropriate presentation
and incorrect epitopes displayed by incorrectly folded inclusion bodies as the antigen components, these vaccine formulations rarely provide full protection and ~80% effective rate is the norm.. Our proprietary powerful membrane protein expression technology can be used to prepare surface membrane protein antigens to develop vaccines against infectious diseases. Our correctly-folded and functional membrane protein antigens when used in vaccine formulations can be referred to as "live vaccine mimic". This term reflects the fact that these membrane protein antigens exhibit their true folding motifs as found on the surface of the pathogens. In confirmed to be highly effective, this aquaculture vaccine will serve as the prototype of many vaccines that can be made through our membrane protein production technology. The primary objective of this proposal is to develop subunit vaccine against Mycobacterium marinum infections for aquaculture. The vaccine we propose would prevent disease
outbreaks, be logistically and economically appealing, and will lead to reduced environmental problems compared to antibiotics. Our vaccination technology will help to reduce mortality, improve the overall health and performance of fish exposed to the pathogen, and enhance the competitiveness of the U.S. aquaculture industry. The vaccine technology that we will develop to prevent bacterial infections in fish will have application in the culture of valuable finfish species, and economic advances in these industries through increased production and profitability and would stimulate further research, yield product improvements, and produce jobs in primarily rural areas suited for fish culture. In addition, this research will serve as the prototype for other vaccine development projects, particularly, those for mycobacteria diseases in human including tuberculosis, leprosy, and Buruli ulcer. These often neglected but devatasting diseases of the past are making a comeback with the
emergence of drug resistant strains. Research into mycobacteria certainly carries additional significances in light of these renewed health threats.

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

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