HJF to develop herpes virus vaccines

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

October 20, 2020 -- The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF) and Citranvi Biosciences have signed an exclusive licensing agreement to develop vaccine technologies to prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections.

The research was conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense researchers at the Uniformed Services University (USU) of the Health Sciences and patented by HJF under the USU-HJF Joint Office of Technology Transfer. The technology can be used to produce recombinant proteins in a multimeric form, which can be used to generate a vaccine that produces protective antibodies.

An illustration of the Epstein-Barr virus.
An illustration of the Epstein-Barr virus. Image courtesy of HJF.

CMV, a type of herpes virus, mainly affects young children and is the most common infectious cause of brain damage and sensorineural hearing loss in infants. Nearly 30%-40% of adolescents who contract EBV, another type of herpes virus, develop infectious mononucleosis. EBV is also the cause of nearly 140,000 cancer deaths annually.

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