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Computational models

Computational modeling to aid epitope-focused vaccine design

In silico, in vitro and primate studies suggest computational modeling could aid epitope-focused vaccine design. Computational design and screening identified stable epitope-presenting protein scaffolds that mimicked an epitope in the respiratory syncytial virus fusion protein (RSV F protein) and specifically bound the RSV neutralizing antibody motavizumab with comparable affinity to the natural epitope. Vaccination with the scaffolds induced neutralizing antibodies in 12 of 16 rhesus macaques. Next steps could include optimizing the vaccines for magnitude and durability of neutralizing responses.
AstraZeneca plc discontinued development of the humanized anti-RSV F mAb motavizumab for RSV prophylaxis in 2010.

SciBX 7(8); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.236
Published online Feb. 27, 2014

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Correia, B.E. et al. Nature; published online Feb. 5, 2014;
Contact: William R. Schief, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington