Description of Invention: Currently, no specific vaccine or therapy for West Nile Virus (WNV) is available for human use; a killed-virus vaccine and booster is in use for horses (efficacy not yet reported). Virus-like particles (VLPs) are an exciting new strategy, as it combines the safety of killed-virus and DNA-based vaccines with the potential for immunogenicity of live-attenuated virus. VLPs have been used in approved vaccine for humans, including human papilloma virus (HPV). Generating VLPs for West Nile Virus, however, has proven difficult.
The inventors have successfully generated West Nile VLPs in insect cells by using recombinant baculoviruses expressing the WNV structural proteins prME or CprME. Mice immunized with purified West Nile VLPs developed antibodies specific to WNV with potent neutralizing activities; moreover, the mice showed no morbidity or mortality after a subsequent challenge with live WNV and showed no evidence of viremia or viral RNA in the spleen or brain.
The patent application covers applications ranging from pharmaceutical/vaccine preparations for WNV-LPs to methods for making and using them.
Applications: Antiviral therapies, vaccines, and diagnostic kits based on West Nile VLPs.
Demonstrated efficacy in mice
Manufacture using insect cells is simple and inexpensive
Vaccines or therapeutics are a preferable means to control infection versus the current method (reduce mosquito populations using toxic pesticides)
First successful generation of West Nile VLPs
Development Status: Successful completion of proof-of-principle tests in mice.
M Qiao et al. Induction of sterilizing immunity against West Nile Virus (WNV), by immunization with WNV-like particles produced in insect cells. J Infect Dis. 2004 Dec 15;190(12):2104-2108. [ PubMed abs ]
Licensing Status: Available for licensing.
Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Liver Diseases Branch, is seeking parties interested in collaborative research directed toward molecular strategies for vaccine and antiviral development, and animal models of viral hepatitis C. For more information, please contact Dr. T. Jake Liang at 301-496-1721, firstname.lastname@example.org , or Ms. Patricia Lake at 301-594-6762, email@example.com .