Development of VLP vaccine for RSV

  • Funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: 3R44AI109926-05S1

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United States of America, Americas
  • Lead Research Institution

    SIGMOVIR Biosystems Inc
  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

  • Research Subcategory

    Disease models

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Not Applicable

  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


The SARS-CoV-2 responsible for the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) outbreak represents amajor public health threat that urgently requires development of a small animal model that can be used totest medical countermeasures. This supplement proposal is a logical extension of our parent grant,Development a VLP Vaccine for RSV (PO: Sonnie Kim, R44 AI109926). The laboratory of the PI andhis collaborators specialize in both, developing new vaccines, vaccination strategies, and therapies toovercome viral infection and viral-induce Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), and into thedevelopment new model of human respiratory viral infectious diseases. The cotton rats is known for theiroutstanding translational value for human health and, in contrast to mice, are highly susceptible to infectionwith non-adapted human viruses, including those that specifically target the respiratory tract. Cotton ratsare also notoriously difficult to work with, and SBI has the utmost experience and capabilities required towork with these animals. We are in a position to offer our decades-long expertise in the cotton rat model todevelop fully a SARS-CoV-2 model of infection that can recapitulate Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome(ARDS) induced by SARS-CoV-2 and be used for an expedient and reliable testing of experimentaltherapeutic and vaccine candidates. All resources are in place for the rapid start of work, including our in-house colonies of two different species of inbred cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus and Sigmodon fulviventer),We have established very strong collaboration with Bioqual Inc., a close by company with which we havecollaborated in the past for many projects, including a SBIR phase II. They will provide both, ABSL3 andBSL3 facilities, as well as experienced personnel, and the newly isolated SARS-CoV-2 virus. With thishighly-regarded team of senior scientists recognized for the expertise in developing novel cotton rat modelsand for their expertise in targeting innate immune pathways, we hypothesize that cotton rats willrecapitulate ARDS observed in recent human cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and become a reliable smallanimal model for screening newly developed vaccines and therapeutics, such as TLR4 antagonists, that willresult in a more rapid medical countermeasure.