Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronically infects 2-3% of the global population, predisposing the patients to chronic liver diseases and liver cancer. A broadly effective vaccine will be a cost- effective mean to solve this global problem. However, HCV is genetically varied and vaccines designed based on a single viral strain will not be effectively against genetically diverse circulating viruses. To overcome this scientific challenge, the vaccine candidates must target conserved regions on the virus. The goal of this application is to determine the molecular structure of virus neutralizing epitopes to aid the rational design of immunogens, that will focus antibody responses to the conserved epitopes in vaccination. This "epitope vaccine" approach include: (1) Determination of crystal structures of HCV antibody epitopes in complex with the corresponding broadly neutralizing antibodies;(2) Design and synthesis of immunogens as biomimetics of the known epitope structures;(3) Testing of the novel immunogens in a small animal model of HCV infection to identify lead vaccine candidates. If successful, this proposal can result in novel HCV vaccine candidates for clinical trials, and also significantly advance the HCV and vaccine fields.

Public Health Relevance

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. A broadly effective vaccine will be vital for the eradication of this silent epidemic The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate vaccine candidates that target genetically conserved regions of the virus.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01AI106005-01A1
Application #
8632770
Study Section
Vaccines Against Microbial Diseases (VMD)
Program Officer
Koshy, Rajen
Project Start
2014-03-01
Project End
2018-02-28
Budget Start
2014-03-01
Budget End
2015-02-28
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$175,312
Indirect Cost
$82,799
Name
Scripps Research Institute
Department
Type
DUNS #
781613492
City
La Jolla
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
92037
von Schaewen, Markus; Ploss, Alexander (2014) Murine models of hepatitis C: what can we look forward to? Antiviral Res 104:15-22
Ruwona, Tinashe B; Giang, Erick; Nieusma, Travis et al. (2014) Fine mapping of murine antibody responses to immunization with a novel soluble form of hepatitis C virus envelope glycoprotein complex. J Virol 88:10459-71