WARF: P160181US02

Improved Influenza B Virus Replication for Vaccine Development


Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Gabriele Neumann, Jihui Ping

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in mutations that increase virus titers in cultured cells/embryonated chicken eggs for use in high-growth vaccines produced through reverse genetics.
OVERVIEWThe epidemiology of influenza Type B viruses differs from Type A; influenza B viruses primarily circulate in humans and do not cause pandemics. However, in some seasons the impact of influenza B infections on morbidity and mortality can exceed influenza A.

Over the past few decades, viruses of two influenza B lineages (Victoria and Yamagata) have circulated in humans, and both lineages are now represented in vaccines as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). While influenza B virus vaccines for humans have been available for more than 50 years, no systematic efforts have been undertaken to develop high-yield candidates.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann have identified growth enhancing mutations that increase the yield of influenza B viruses, potentially enabling more rapid and cost-effective vaccine production.

Virus libraries were generated for each lineage (B/Victoria and B/Yamagata) and passaged in cultured cells to identify several mutations in the ‘internal’ genes of influenza B viruses that confer high-yield in cultured cells and/or embryonated chicken embryos. The use of one or more of these mutations in vaccine virus master strains results in higher viral titers (e.g., 108 PFU/mL or more) in cultured cells and/or embryonated chicken eggs.
  • Influenza B virus vaccine backbones for improved vaccine production
  • More efficient influenza B virus growth
  • More rapid and cost-effective vaccine production
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTInfluenza B vaccine virus backbones have been developed that could increase the titers of seasonal vaccines in propagation systems currently used for human applications.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at or 608-960-9854.
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