Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Drug Discovery & Development
Drug Discovery Development
Efficient Generation of Influenza Virus with Adenoviral Vectors
WARF: P06444US

Inventors: 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.
Influenza 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 Invention
UW-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
Key Benefits
  • 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
Additional Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9854