Novel Method for inducing M-protein Specific Immunity (No. 0204)

 
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Summary

A novel method for inducing M-protein specific immunity that can be used for coronavirus vaccines.

COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of 31 May 2021, more than 170 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 3.53 million confirmed deaths attributed to COVID-19. Vaccines are effective means to stop the pandemic. Some vaccines have been already established. Current vaccine strategies are to induce S-specific antibody and T cell responses and recent studies reported a correlation between the frequency of pre-existing S-specific T cells and vaccine-induced S-specific T cell responses, which suggests a role of pre-existing S-specific T cells in cognate T cell help. The inventors found that some pre-existing T cell responses to specific SARS-CoV-2 proteins, Spike (S) and Nucleoprotein (N), were diminished in elderly donors who were seronegative for S. However, substantial pre-existing T cell responses to the viral membrane (M) protein were detected in some elderly donors. This suggests that elderly individuals likely would not benefit fully from pre-existing S-specific T cells. Instead of this, the inventors provide new strategy to enhance vaccine efficacy among the elderly by inducing not only S-specific, but also M-specific immunity (ex. through using vaccines based on inactivated viruses or M-fused S antigens). This method may enhance vaccine efficacy among the elderly people for any coronavirus.

 

Lead Researcher:
Hiroki Ishikawa

Faculty of Immune Signal Unit

Applications

  • Vaccines

 

Advantages

  • Enhance vaccine efficacy, especially for elderly people

   

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Technology's Essence

The technology is based on the inventor’s finding that pre-existing T cell responses to the viral membrane (M) protein were detected in some elderly individuals. Because pre-existing T cell responses enhance the vaccine efficacy, the technology provides a method to induce not only S-specific, but also M-specific immunity.

 

Media Coverage and Presentations

 

CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION

  Graham Garner
Technology Licensing Section

  tls@oist.jp
  +81(0)98-966-8937