Evaluation of Staphylococcus aureus agr-based Quorum Sensing as Vaccine Candidate

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R41AI091275-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI091275
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PHS2010-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 832545805
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (858) 353-1084
Business Contact
Phone: (406) 994-2381
Email: athurlow@montana.edu
Research Institution
 Montana State University (Bozeman)
 309 Montana Hall
BOZEMAN, MT, 59717-
 () -
 Nonprofit college or university
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In this proposal we lay out a comprehensive research plan to evaluate our passive vaccination strategies targeting Staphylococcus aureus/MRSA to prevent or treat infections associated with S. aureus/MRSA. With the emergence of highly antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, most notably MRSA, new approaches for combating bacterial infections are desperately needed. In this research proposal, Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. (STI) together with researchers from Montana State University have outlined experiments that will harness a powerful combination of chemistry, microbiology, and immunology to provide a solid rational basis for the development and evaluation of quorum quenching vaccines to prevent S. aureus infections. We will evaluate a passive vaccination strategy targeting the agr quorum sensing system of S. aureus for the protection against Staph infections, such as skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), bacteremia, and mastitis caused by antibiotic-sensitive (MSSA) and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. We will also establish active vaccination protocols that result in high quorum quenching antibody titers as the basis for our ultimate goal, the development of an effective S. aureus vaccine. The specific projects of our STTR research proposal are (1) Efficacy of passive anti-AIP immunotherapy for the prevention and therapy of Staphylococcus aureus infections. To establish the therapeutic efficacy of passive anti-AIP immunotherapy we will utilize anti-AIP1 and AIP3 murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) AP1-15B4 and AP3-29A2 and evaluate their efficacy in three S. aureus infection models in mice. These models will reflect common S. aureus infections in humans and animals, namely skin and soft tissue infection, systemic S. aureus infection, and mastitis. (2) Generation of AIP hapten-immunoconjugates and establishment of vaccination protocols. We will synthesize the original anti-AIP haptens AP1 and AP3. Furthermore, with the help of our collaborators, we have designed a new 2nd generation set of AIP haptens, namely more hydrolytically stable APTAM haptens that we will also synthesize. The haptens will be conjugated to a set of carrier proteins and the resulting immunoconjugates will be used for immunization studies in mice to establish active vaccination protocols. The successful completion of these two projects and the obtained data will be the basis for our Phase 2 proposal to design, evaluate, and develop an effective S. aureus vaccine for the human and veterinary markets. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Despite the approval of numerous antibiotics over the past 60 years, bacterial disease remains a serious public health problem. Many of the most harmful bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, develop resistance to approved antibiotics (so-called superbugs ) causing people with drug-resistant infections to become seriously ill or die. Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. is working on the development of a new way to prevent and even treat bacterial disease in a manner that we believe will be much more effective than using current antibiotic therapy and that will be unaffected by existing resistances.

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

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