PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Integral Molecular, a leader in membrane protein research, announces the issuance of a new composition patent protecting dengue reporter virus particles (RVPs). The invention relates to the company’s chimeric and codon-optimized flavivirus replicons, expression plasmids, and RVPs used for infectivity, neutralization, enhancement and structure-function studies of dengue virus (DENV) and its envelope protein (prM/E). U.S. Patent No 8,691,961, was issued by the USPTO on April 8, 2014, furthering the company’s commitment to the discovery of drugs and vaccines against this widespread virus.
“The dengue virus RVPs are enabling faster and more accurate quantification of dengue sera and antibody neutralization and enhancement,” said Benjamin Doranz, Chief Scientific Officer at Integral Molecular. “The technology is also being used in our structural studies of DENV envelope, for instance, to identify the exact residues responsible for mediating its folding, triggering, and fusion.”
Integral Molecular has a long standing interest in dengue research, and has epitope mapped over 150 monoclonal antibodies targeting dengue envelope proteins as part of an ongoing contract funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). This work has been described in numerous publications, including seven publications in the past two years, providing important insights into the functionality of DENV prM/E. Viral epitopes were mapped using the company’s Shotgun Mutagenesis technology which enables vaccine researchers to identify immunodominant regions of a target pathogen. Integral Molecular has similarly used its Shotgun Mutagenesis technology to map antibody epitopes on diverse viral pathogens, including chikungunya, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and respiratory syncytial viruses. Integral Molecular offers dengue virus RVPs that retain antigenic equivalence to wild-type virions by incorporating prM/E proteins from DENV serotypes 1, 2, 3, or 4. DENV RVPs feature a reporter gene that provides a rapid and convenient read-out of infectivity, and are validated for both antibody neutralization and enhancement studies. Epitope mapping of anti-viral antibodies by Shotgun Mutagenesis is offered on a fee-for-service basis.
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular is a research-driven biotechnology company creating a pipeline of therapeutic antibodies against under-exploited membrane protein targets, including GPCRs, ion channels, transporters and viral envelope proteins using its proprietary MPS Discovery Engine®. This platform is built on the company’s Lipoparticle and Shotgun Mutagenesis technologies and over 10 years of experience optimizing membrane proteins, enabling the isolation, characterization, and engineering of monoclonal antibodies against otherwise intractable membrane protein targets. The company currently has therapeutic programs focused on pain, autoimmunity and infectious diseases.
Benjamin Doranz, 215-966-6061