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AMA1–RON2 Complex-Based Vaccine against Malaria

Immunization using the AMA1–RON2 complex of this technology represents a candidate for an effective malaria vaccine against multiple Plasmodium species.

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This technology relates to a malaria vaccine composed of a protein complex of Apical Membrane Antigen (AMA1) and rhoptry neck protein 2 (RON2) with an adjuvant. AMA1 is a crucial component of the Plasmodium invasion machinery and is a leading candidate for antimalarial vaccine development. AMA1-based vaccines have shown ability to block red cell invasion in in vitro assays, but protection has so far not translated to in vivo human infections. NIAID investigators have demonstrated that interaction between AMA1 and RON2 (or peptide thereof) is essential for malaria parasites to successfully enter human red blood cells (RBCs). Vaccination with un-complexed AMA1 and RON2 did not protect against lethal malaria. However, vaccination with a pre-formed AMA1– RON2 complex, highlighted in this technology, produced antibodies that protected against lethal malaria in an in vivo mouse model (P.yoelli) and blocked the entry of human malaria parasites into RBCs in vitro. Additionally, the inhibitory antibody response induced by the AMA1–RON2 complex was greater than AMA1 alone or when AMA1 and RON2 proteins were administered in a un-complexed form.

Immunization using the AMA1–RON2 complex of this technology represents a candidate for an effective malaria vaccine against multiple Plasmodium species.

Potential Commercial Applications:

  • Malaria vaccine

Competitive Advantages:

Lower-cost malarial prevention for developing/ developed countries.

Development Stage:

  • Early-stage.
  • In vitro data available.
  • In vivo data available (animal).
Publications: Srinivasan P, et al. Binding of Plasmodium merozoite proteins RON2 and AMA1 triggers commitment to invasion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 9;108(32):13275–80. [PMID 21788485].Srinivasan P, et al. Disrupting malaria parasite AMA1–RON2 interaction with a small molecule prevents erythrocyte invasion. Nat Commun. 2013;4:2261. [PMID 23907321].

Intellectual Property:HHS Reference No. E–066–2013/0—U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/841,479 filed 01 Jul 2013; PCT Application No. PCT/US2014/045065, filed July 1, 2014; European Application No. 14742116.8, filed July 1, 2014 (pending); U.S. Application No. 14/902,117, filed August December 30, 2015 (pending); and Chinese Application No. 201480037643.1, filed December 31, 2015 (pending).

Collaborative Research Opportunity:The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability and interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize AMA1–RON2 vaccine by providing well established human adjuvants and clinical trial funding. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Peter Tung, 240-669-5483; peter.tung@nih.gov.


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NIAID Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office

NIAID’s technology transfer office, TTIPO, is a one-stop resource for organizations interested in partnering with NIAID to access, develop, and manage the translation of research discoveries into medically beneficial products. TTIPO seeks to expand NIAID’s innovation pipeline with existing and new partners in areas such as newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (e.g., dengue, Zika, Ebola, influenza, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and HIV/AIDS), biodefense (e.g., smallpox and anthrax), and immune-mediated diseases (e.g., asthma and allergy).

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