Delaware Patent of the Month – May 2023
Fraunhofer USA Inc. has recently patented a new technology using coat proteins to display target molecules on virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines. These recombinantly produced vaccines are capable of displaying desirable antigens on repetitive, high-density displays, leading to increased immune responses. However, most viral coat proteins do not have the necessary antigenic major insertion region (MIR) found on hepatitis B core protein HBcAg to produce VLP vaccines.
Fraunhofer USA’s technology addresses this issue by providing fusion proteins that contain multiple recombinant viral coat proteins and an optional target protein. Their method uses fusion proteins made of two recombinant viral coat proteins and a first linkage peptide. The first recombinant viral coat protein has an amino acid sequence that is at least 80% identical to the coat protein of alfalfa mosaic virus (AIMV), and the second recombinant viral coat protein has an amino acid sequence that is also at least 80% identical to the AIMV coat protein. The first linkage peptide links both recombinant viral proteins.
The fusion proteins and VLPs formed by these proteins offer significant advantages in vaccine development. By displaying foreign sequences on the tips of surface spike structures on the outside VLPs, the immunodominance of the antigenic MIR site is transferred to the foreign sequence inserted at the MIR site. Therefore, the fusion proteins and VLPs created by Fraunhofer USA can help produce more effective VLP vaccines.
This breakthrough offers great promise in the fight against various viral diseases. As new and emerging viruses continue to pose significant health threats, innovative solutions like those developed by Fraunhofer USA will play a crucial role in developing effective vaccines to combat these diseases.
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