ARTICLE | Clinical News

Heat, UMiami seek to create fetal Zika vaccine

October 25, 2016 7:00 AM UTC

Heat Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ:HTBX) and the University of Miami said they are collaborating to develop vaccines targeting the Zika virus and other infectious diseases based on Heat's heat shock 90 kDa protein beta 1 ( Hsp90B1; GP96; GRP94) vaccine platform. Heat CEO Jeff Wolf told BioCentury that using GP96 to induce an immune response in the placenta could allow the partners to develop the first vaccine to provide fetal protection against Zika.

The partners seek to genetically modify cells to stimulate release of GP96 in order to activate dendritic cells and induce an immune response, which can be directed against cancer or infectious diseases. In 2013, researchers at the university led by Natasa Strbo showed a GP96 vaccine generated an immune response in the mucosa, and led to a 73% reduction in the risk of viral infection in macaques challenged with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). The Journal of Immunology published the results. ...