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Self-assembling influenza nanoparticle vaccines

Self-assembling influenza nanoparticles could be used as vaccines to induce broadly neutralizing antibodies. A fusion protein of an H1N1 influenza A virus hemagglutinin (HA) ectodomain and Helicobacter pylori ferritin was expressed in mammalian cells and shown to self-assemble into HA-ferritin nanoparticles that display eight trimeric HA spikes on the surface. In mice and ferrets, HA-ferritin nanoparticles plus adjuvant induced higher levels of neutralizing antibodies than an adjuvanted, trivalent, inactivated influenza vaccine. In ferrets infected with an unmatched H1N1 influenza virus, immunization with the nanoparticles decreased viral shedding and weight loss compared with immunization using the trivalent, inactivated influenza vaccine. Next steps include immunogenicity studies in humans.

SciBX 6(24); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.612
Published online June 20, 2013

Patent application filed; available for licensing from the NIH Office of Technology Transfer
Contact: Cristina Thalhammer-Reyero, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

Kanekiyo, M. et al. Nature; published online May 22, 2013;
Contact: Gary J. Nabel, Sanofi, Cambridge, Mass.