Development of a novel PCP Vaccine for AIDS patients

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R41AI097069-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI097069
Amount: $597,426.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA10-124
Small Business Information
1441 Canal Street, Suite 314, NEW ORLEANS, LA, -
DUNS: 965570208
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (504) 264-2828
Business Contact
Phone: (240) 432-7876
Research Institution
RUSTON, LA, 71272-
 () -
 Nonprofit college or university
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Pulmonary infection with the fungal pathogen, Pneumocystis jirovecii, is a common and often fatal complication of HIV infection/AIDS. Emerging data suggest that Pneumocystis may also complicate lung diseases in non-HIVinfected hosts including those with COPD and solid organ transplant recipients. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a vaccine against Pneumocystis. To that end, we have identified a novel vaccine candidate for Pneumocystis termed mini-kexin. We have shown DNA vaccination with mini-kexin followed by mucosal boosting generates robust pulmonary immune responses and provides protective efficacy against Pneumocystis challenge in mice. Furthermore, the use of CD40L as a molecular adjuvant allows forprotective antibody responses in CD4+ T cell-deficient mice, a model the closely replicates the immunodeficiency and susceptibility to PCP in AIDS. Based on these data LSUHSC has filed a provisional patent and a PCT on mini-kexin as a PCP vaccine. This STTR under MiniVax will be used to perform further lead optimization and investigate immunogenicity of mini-Kexin in SIV-infected macaques. We hypothesize that prime/boost vaccination with mini-kexin will result in antigen specific antibody responses that areprotective against PC challenge on the mouse and that co-administration of CD40L with mini-kexin vaccination will provide effective systemic and mucosal antibody responses in the setting of low peripheral CD4+ T-cells, using a simian model of AIDS. We will first perform lead optimization of the vaccine platform in mice and then conduct an immunogenicity trial in Rhesus macaques rendered immunodeficient by infection with SIV Mac251 to model vaccine efficiency in an HIV-infected cohort. Specific Aim 1 is toperform lead optimization and compare efficacy of systemic versus mucosal immunization in CD4-depleted mice. Specific Aim 2 is to conduct an immunogenicity study in non-human primates. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Pulmonary infection with the fungal pathogen, Pneumocystis jirovecii, is a common and often fatal complication of HIV infection/AIDS. This proposal will perform testing of candidate vaccines for this life-threatening infection.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government