Texas Biomed files patent for a novel HIV vaccine strategy
19-Nov-2012 - The Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio has applied for a patent for a genetically-engineered vaccine strategy to prevent HIV infection that targets
the outer layers of body structures that are the first sites of contact with the virus.
Designed to be a single dose and last a lifetime, the vaccine will lead to the continual production of disease-fighting
cells without being eliminated by the immune system. Another feature of the vaccine system is that it could be adapted for use
against other infections.
More than 90 percent of new HIV infections worldwide are transmitted by sexual intercourse
through outer layers of cells called epithelial cells which line the surfaces of structures throughout
the body. The new vaccine is directed to what are known as the mucosal layers of the epithelium in
the genital and rectal areas where the virus enters the body.
"The development of an effective AIDS vaccine that restricts viral replication at the mucosal level of entry may
be our best hope for controlling the HIV pandemic," said Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D., of Texas Biomed's Department
of Virology and Immunology, who is a co-inventor on the patent with Philippe Blancou, Ph.D., a visiting scientist
from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France. "Only life-long stimulation of the immune system by the
vaccine will be sufficient to achieve long-term protection," she added.
One of the main reasons for the failure of HIV vaccines thus far is their inability to deliver antibody-producing
cells for prolonged periods of time, thus only achieving weak and transient protection at best.
The primary target for viral transmission through different mucosal sites varies depending on the tissue.
However, soon after crossing the mucosal layer, HIV rapidly spreads to lymph nodes and other organs where
The vaccine will have a molecule and stem cell gene tagged to target epithelial cells, that combined, will
promote the production of antibody-producing cells. Thus, the epithelial layer will continuously release new
antibody-producing cells and not be eliminated by the body's immune response.
This invention was made with government support under grant numbers AI084171-01 and AI090705-01 awarded by National Institutes of Health.
Texas Biomed, formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, is one of the world's leading independent biomedical
research institutions dedicated to advancing global human health through innovative biomedical research. Located on a 200-acre
campus on the northwest side of San Antonio, Texas, the Institute partners with hundreds of researchers and institutions
around the world, targeting advances in the fight against AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, malaria, parasitic infections
and a host of other infectious diseases, as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, psychiatric
disorders, and problems of pregnancy. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to www.TxBiomed.org , or call Joe Carey, Texas Biomed's Vice President for Public Affairs, at 210-258-9437.
Texas Biomedical Research Institute
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