WARF: P09203US02

Novel Candidates for an Improved Tuberculosis Vaccine


Adel Talaat, Bassam Abomoelak, Sarah Ward

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing materials and methods for an improved vaccine against tuberculosis (TB).
OVERVIEWApproximately one-third of the world’s population is infected with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB).  Five to 10 percent of non-immunocompromised individuals infected with M. tuberculosis will develop active TB during their lifetimes.  TB ultimately causes 1.7 million deaths every year and is a leading cause of death of individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). 

A vaccine for tuberculosis has been developed and is used routinely worldwide.  However, this vaccine, which consists of an attenuated strain of the bovine pathogen M. bovis, is ineffective against TB strains that infect adults. 

Drugs are available to treat TB, but resistance has developed against every drug currently available.  Multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) strains pose a serious threat.  New methods of preventing or treating TB are needed.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed four candidates for a live attenuated TB vaccine.  They disrupted regions of the M. tuberculosis genome that are associated with pathogenicity and identified viable but attenuated mutants with disruptions in the ctpV, rv0990c, rv0971c or rv0348 genes.  These mutants may be useful for eliciting an immune response against tuberculosis.
  • In 2006, the World Health Organization launched the “Global Plan to Stop TB” program with goals to reduce TB by 50 percent by 2015 and to eliminate TB as a public health concern by 2050.
  • Vaccines against TB
  • Drug targets for treating different stages of TB
  • Genetic vaccines based on the identified genes
  • Provides improved candidates for a TB vaccine
  • Unlike the current commercial TB vaccine, vaccines developed from these mutants should protect against TB in adults.
For More Information About the Inventors
Related Intellectual Property
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Rafael Diaz at or 608-960-9847.
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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.