Membrane-anchored Fusokine as Vaccine Adjuvant to Prevent Viral Infection


GIFT4 anchored to virus-like particles (VLPs) as a prophylactic vaccine adjuvant to prevent chronic viral infections including HIV, HBV, HPV and influenza.

Key Benefits

  • GIFT4-containing VLPs induce higher antibody response than non-adjuvanted VLPs.
  • Effectively induce strong mucosal immune response.

Market Summary

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Although there has been an overall decrease in the number of new infections and AIDS-related deaths due to antiretroviral therapies in the past decade, the number of people living with HIV grows steadily worldwide due to longer survival. There is an unmet need for a successful vaccine to prevent HIV infection.

Technical Summary

Emory University researchers developed a fusokine by fusing GM-CSF and IL-4, named “GIFT4,” and found that it can stimulate B-cell proliferation. Guinea pigs immunized with the membrane-bound form of GIFT4-containing HIV VLPs have enhanced systemic antibody responses compared to those induced by regular HIV VLPs not linked to GIFT4. VLPs with GIFT4 were shown to effectively induce mucosal immune responses, indicated by higher levels of HIV Env-specific mucosal IgG and IgA levels at several mucosal sites including saliva and vagina. Mucosal tissue tends to be the most common site of initial infection and a strong mucosal antibody response to previous attempts at HIV vaccines has been difficult to obtain. GIFT4 anchored to VLPs may be a useful adjuvant to vaccines against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza and other chronic viral infections.

Developmental Stage

In vivo tests performed in animal model.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Utility (parent) United States 15/142,169 10,072,058 4/29/2016 9/11/2018 Issued
Tech ID: 14216
Published: 6/1/2016