Washington Patent of the Month – December 2023

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) causes upper and lower respiratory disease in people of all ages, leading to cough, fever, and shortness of breath. In some cases, it may even lead to bronchitis or pneumonia. Icosavax, Inc., a clinical stage vaccine development company, has developed a protein-based vaccine for hMPV.

The company was founded with the intention of developing novel vaccines that protect vulnerable older adults from various respiratory viruses.  

The new protein-based nanoparticle vaccine uses a symmetric design to mimic the virus. By mimicking the virus structure, the body can learn to generate a protective immune response to hMPV. What sets Icosavax’s work apart is the precision in designing these virus-like particles (VLPs) to mimic the structure of the virus they aim to combat. This meticulous design goes beyond conventional vaccine strategies, promising heightened efficacy.

Icosavax’s focus on respiratory viruses adds another layer of significance. Given the global impact of respiratory infections, a vaccine platform tailored to this category could be a game-changer. The patent underscores their commitment to addressing challenges associated with respiratory diseases, aiming to enhance protection and reduce transmission.

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