WARF: P06444US

Efficient Generation of Influenza Virus with Adenoviral Vectors


Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Makoto Ozawa

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in a modified reverse genetics approach that allows production of influenza virus in more cell types.
OVERVIEWInfluenza is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide every year. Vaccines can be used to prevent influenza, but traditional methods for producing influenza vaccine are slow and cumbersome.

The inventor previously developed a new method of vaccine production that utilizes “reverse genetics” see WARF reference number P99264US. In this method, eight plasmids containing haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes from circulating or pathogenic strains and the remaining viral genes from “harmless” influenza strains, along with additional plasmids encoding proteins necessary for replication and transcription, are transfected into cell lines. Virus can then be harvested from these cells for production of live attenuated or inactivated vaccine. However, this method is limited by the transfection efficiency of the cells, and suitable cell lines approved for human vaccine production cannot be transfected readily.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers now have modified the reverse genetics approach to make it possible to introduce viral genetic information into more cell types. Instead of multiple plasmids, adenoviral vectors are used to introduce the viral genes and other sequences needed for replication and transcription into the cells. Because these vectors are highly efficient at transferring genes, they allow vaccine viruses to be generated in a greater variety of cell lines than the plasmids used in the original system.
  • Generation of influenza vaccine seed strains
  • Basic influenza virus resarch
  • Enables the generation of recombinant influenza viruses in diverse cell types, including cells such as Vero cells, which cannot be transfected efficiently
  • Simplifies virus production
  • May lead to higher virus yields
  • May be used to rapidly generate vaccine viruses, especially in response to a pandemic
  • Applicable to any negative sense RNA virus, including Thogotovirus, Ebola or Marburg
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at or 608-960-9854.
The WARF Advantage

WARF: A Leader in Technology Transfer Since 1925
Since its founding as a private, nonprofit affiliate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, WARF has provided patent and licensing services to UW–Madison and worked with commercial partners to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.

The University of Wisconsin and WARF –
A Single Location to Accelerate Translational Development of New Drugs

UW–Madison has the integrative capabilities to complete many key components of the drug development cycle, from discovery through clinical trials. As one of the top research universities in the world, and one of the two best-funded universities for research in the country, UW–Madison offers state-of-the-art facilities unmatched by most public universities.

These include the Small Molecule Screening Facility at the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Zeeh Pharmaceutical Experiment Station, which provides consulting and laboratory services for developing formulations and studying solubility, stability and more; the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility; the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research, which provides UW–Madison with a complete translational research facility; and the innovative, interdisciplinary Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, home to the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research and its public twin, WID, part of the university's graduate school. The highly qualified experts at these facilities are ready to work with you to create a library of candidates for drug development.