Lijuan Yuan, professor of virology and immunology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, has been awarded a grant from Universal Stabilization Technologies, Inc. to develop an oral rotavirus vaccine that is in non-liquid form, thermostable, and does not need cold-chain storage.

TITLE
Development of a thermostable rotavirus vaccine for mucosal delivery without need for reconstitution

FUNDING AGENCY
Universal Stabilization Technologies, Inc. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases / National Institutes of Health flow-through)

TOTAL AWARD
$362,250
Direct: $226,249
Indirect: $136,001

DURATION OF AWARD
5/1/2020 - 1/31/2021

KEY FACULTY PERSONNEL
PI
: Lijuan Yuan

SIGNFICANCE
Human rotaviruses (HRVs) cause severe diarrhea in young children. Even with the implementation of the current vaccines, HRV infections still cause ~200,000 deaths, 2.3 million hospitalizations, and 24 million outpatient visits globally each year. The two most widely used live oral HRV vaccines, RotaTeq® and Rotarix®, are highly effective in developed countries, but they need to be kept in cold chain all the time to remain stable and effective. In underdeveloped nations where most HRV morbidity and mortality occur, hence HRV vaccines are needed the most, cold chain is often unreliable or even unavailable. Our goal is to develop an oral rotavirus vaccine that is in non-liquid form, thermostable, and does not need cold-chain storage. In this subcontract project, the safety, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy of the thermostable rotavirus vaccine candidates will be compared to the liquid form vaccines in the gnotobiotic pig model of human rotavirus infection and diarrhea.