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Infectious disease

Influenza virus

Sialic acid

Mouse studies suggest multivalent peptides made up of carbohydrate-binding modules could be used to prevent influenza virus infection. Sialic acid-interacting peptides were generated from carbohydrate-binding modules from Streptococcus pneumoniae and Vibrio cholerae sialidase, with or without an oligomerization domain from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In a mouse model of influenza virus challenge, prophylactic intranasal delivery of a peptide seven days before challenge led to pulmonary expression of Il-1b, interferon-g (Ifng; Ifng) and tumor necrosis factor-a (Tnf-a) and enabled survival of all mice. Next steps include testing the peptides in ferret models of influenza infection and conducting toxicology studies.

SciBX 7(18); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.530
Published online May 8, 2014

Patent application filed; available for licensing or partnering from The University of St. Andrews
Contact: Ewan Chirnside, University of St. Andrews, Fife, U.K.
phone: +44 (0)1334 467223

Connaris, H. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online
April 14, 2014;
Contact: Robert G. Webster,
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.