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Drug platforms

A vaccine based on a stabilized variant of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) F protein

A stabilized variant of RSV F protein could be used as a vaccine antigen to prevent RSV infection. RSV F was modified with C-terminal trimerization domains, cysteine pairs and cavity-filling hydrophobic substitutions to generate stable RSV F trimers that resembled a conformation of the protein adopted before virus-cell interaction. In mice, vaccination with modified RSV F provided neutralizing activity eight times greater than that achieved with vaccination using an RSV F antigen that adopted a conformation seen after virus-cell fusion. In rhesus macaques, vaccination with the modified RSV F provided neutralizing activity 70-80 times greater than that seen with vaccination using the postfusion-like RSV F.
Next steps include moving the modified version of RSV F into GMP production for clinical trials.
At least nine companies have therapeutics or vaccines in development to treat RSV.

SciBX 6(45); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1304
Published online Nov. 21, 2013

The prefusion-stabilized RSV F glycoproteins as vaccine antigens are patented; available for licensing through the NIH's Office of the Director

McLellan, J.S. et al. Science;
published online Nov. 1, 2013;
doi:10.1126/science.1243283
Contact: Peter D. Kwong, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
e-mail:
pdkwong@nih.gov
Contact: Barney S. Graham,
same affiliation as above
e-mail:
bgraham@nih.gov