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T-00451: Viral Vectors for Vaccines and Therapeutics

Background: Research to produce vaccines for viral infections are laborious and requires huge financial and technical investment from governmental organizations and the private sector. A vaccine sensitizes the host’s immune system to prepare for efficient clearance of an invading virus or pathogen. Moreover, vaccine production involves assessment of the candidate viral strain or immunogen for stability and side effects upon administration in humans or animals. A case in point is the yearly production of flu vaccines supervised by FDA. The ideal immunogen or viral strain must have high yield, maintain biochemical stability during production/storage and should elicit the appropriate immune response with minimal side effects. The effectiveness of most flu vaccines is hampered by unwanted mutations or changes in protein stability during eggbased production or storage. Non-egg based vaccines namely cell-based and recombinant flu vaccines are being developed to curb challenges of lengthy production time, allergic reactions and inefficient immune responses. However, these setbacks persist and represent key challenges for research scientists and pharmaceutical companies involved in vaccine production. At SDSU, researchers have developed a vector platform capable of producing highly stable and immunocompetent vaccines for flu and other pathogenic infections.

Description: Researchers at SDSU have developed a versatile vector platform based on novel influenza D, for the production of highly stable and immunocompetent vaccines for flu. Moreover, it can be used for foreign immunogen or antibody delivery to protect humans from pathogenic infections such as HIV and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) because humans and pigs are naïve to influenza D. The vector system is capable of efficient replication in mammalian cells or in eggs for vaccine production with no obvious side effects to animals.

Advantages: This novel system will produce highly stable and immunocompetent vaccines that pose little health concerns to humans and farm animals. Due to the versatile nature of the platform, it can be adapted for therapeutic delivery to cure both communicable and non-communicable diseases.