Nanoparticle Technology for Minimally-invasive Delivery of DNA Vaccines

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W81XWH-11-C-0512
Agency Tracking Number: A11A-029-0101
Amount: $99,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: A11a-T029
Solicitation Number: 2011.A
Small Business Information
12734 Cimarron Path, San Antonio, TX, 78249-3424
DUNS: 192756984
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Allison Rice-Ficht
 Regents Professor and CMDD Director
 (979) 458-1024
Business Contact
 James Janowiak
Title: Treasurer
Phone: (210) 877-0111
Research Institution
 Texas A&M Research Foundation
 Ruth Manning
 400 Harvey Mitchell Pkwy S.
Suite 100
College Station, TX, 77843-1114
 (979) 845-8616
 Nonprofit college or university
Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus causes an acute debilitating disease in humans characterized by fever, mylagia, headache, lymphopenia and malaise and can also lead to neurological symptoms and encephalitis. The highly pathogenic strains are frequently associated with epidemics in North Central and South America and VEEV is classified as a category B select agent. Vaccines against VEEV have been elusive in that live attenuated vaccines produce life long immunity in some and no detectable immune response or adverse effects in others. Inactivated virus fails to protect against aerosol challenge. A DNA vaccine under intensive testing in different formulations and routes of delivery has had promising but incomplete success. Particle mediated epidermal delivery (PMED) of the vaccine is the most promising yet but has not protected all subjects. We propose a method for delivery of the existing DNA vaccine using a controlled release nanoparticle that provides a continual boosting effect through increased levels of antigen uptake and presentation. Controlled release particles developed in our labs have dramatically enhanced efficacy of safe but poorly performing vaccines. We propose a nanoparticle delivery platform to improve efficacy of the VEEV DNA vaccine and permit ease of delivery through PMED or intranasal administration.

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

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