Technology ID

Prefusion Coronavirus Spike Proteins and Their Use

Lead Inventor
Graham, Barney (NIAID)
Corbett, Kizzmekia (NIAID)
Hutchinson, Geoffrey (NIAID)
Abiona, Olubukola (NIAID)
McLellan, Jason (University of Texas)
Wang, Nianshuang (University of Texas at Austin)
Wrapp, Daniel (Dartmouth College)
Lead IC
When a coronavirus was identified as the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), together with their collaborators at the University of Texas at Austin and Dartmouth College, responded quickly to engineer the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein for use in vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

Coronavirus S proteins mediate cellular attachment and membrane fusion and are therefore the target of protective antibodies. This technology employs protein engineering to stabilize the SARS-CoV-2 S in its prefusion conformation, preventing structural rearrangement, and exposing antigencally preferable surfaces. This technology is being utilized in approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccines as well as in diagnostic applications.

This technology is available for licensing for commercial development in accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 209 and 37 CFR Part 404..
Commercial Applications
  • The stabilized prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike protein can be used as a vaccine antigen to elicit robust neutralizing antibody responses. It is also useful in diagnostic applications and to isolate SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Competitive Advantages
  • Improved immunogenicity compared to other coronavirus S vaccine formulations.
  • Increased protein expression, stability, and manufacturability compared to wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike..
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