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Collaborative Research and Licensing Opportunity: Stabilized Influenza Hemagglutinin Stem Region Trimers and Uses Thereof

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are developing immunogens which elicit neutralizing antibodies to the highly conserved stem region of the influenza viral protein hemagglutinin. By targeting this highly conserved region, which is nearly identical in various strains of influenza virus, these immunogens could train the immune system to defend against a wide variety of influenza strains including pandemic strains derived from animal reservoirs.

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An effective universal influenza vaccine would eliminate the uncertain and costly process of seasonal influenza vaccine development each year.  Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are developing immunogens which elicit neutralizing antibodies to the highly conserved stem region of the influenza viral protein hemagglutinin.  By targeting this highly conserved region, which is nearly identical in various strains of influenza virus, these immunogens could train the immune system to defend against a wide variety of influenza strains including pandemic strains derived from animal reservoirs.

       This vaccine candidate employs a protein nanoparticle platform to display portions of the highly conserved stem region of the group 1 hemagglutinin (HA) viral surface protein in its native, trimeric conformation.  Animal studies have shown that the HA stem region trimers displayed on a nanoparticle are more immunogenic compared to HA stem region trimers alone.  Immunization of mice and ferrets with an H1N1 nanoparticle HA stem immunogen conferred protection from a lethal dose of H5N1 virus. 

       NIAID is continuing development of these vaccine candidates through animal studies and moving toward clinical evaluation.

Potential Commercial Applications: 

  • Universal influenza vaccine

Competitive Advantages: 

  • Nucleic acid or recombinant protein-based vaccine
  • Increased ease of production relative to current seasonal influenza vaccines

Development Stage: 

  • Preclinical, animal data available

Inventors:  John R. Mascola, Jeffrey C. Boyington, Hadi M. Yassine, Peter D. Kwong, Barney S. Graham, Masaru Kanekiyo (all from NIAID).

Publications:  Yassine, H.M., et al. (2015) Hemagglutinin-stem nanoparticles generate heterosubtypic influenza protection. Nature Medicine 21: 1065-1070. [PMID: 26301691]

Intellectual Property: HHS Reference Number E-066-2014 includes U.S. Patent Application No. 15/13,265 filed November 22, 2016 (Pending); Canada Patent Application No. 2,950,085 filed May 27, 2015 (Pending); China Patent Application No. 201580041202.3 filed January 24, 2017 (Pending); Europe Patent Application No. 15727824.3 filed December 23, 2016 (Pending); India Patent Application No 201617042607 filed December 14, 2016 (Pending).

Licensing and Collaborative Research Opportunity:  The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize influenza monoclonal antibody technologies.  For collaboration opportunities, please contact Dr. Amy Petrik, 240-627-3721; amy.petrik@nih.gov.

Go to the profile of NIAID Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office

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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