Jeffrey Cohen of the NIH to give presentation at GTCbio’s Vaccines R&D Conference

Jeffrey Cohen of the NIH will discuss “Rational Design of an Epstein-Barr Virus Vaccine” at GTCbio’s Vaccines R&D Meeting

Online PR News – 20-April-2016 – San Diego/ CA – Jeffrey Cohen, Chief of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases & Medical Virology at the NIH, will give a presentation on “Rational Design of an Epstein-Barr Virus Vaccine” at GTCbio’s Vaccines Research & Development Conference on June 2-3, 2016 in San Diego, CA.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the major cause of infectious mononucleosis and is associated with several malignancies including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, gastric carcinoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Burkitt lymphoma. The virus is associated with almost 200,000 cases of cancer each year in the world. EBV gp350 is the principle target of virus neutralizing antibody and binds a receptor, CR2, on the surface of B cells. In the only phase 2 trial of a prophylactic EBV vaccine, soluble EBV gp350 reduced the rate of infectious mononucleosis by 78%, but did not prevent infection. We constructed nanoparticles that display different regions of EBV gp350 on their surface in an orderly array. A nanoparticle that focused the immune response to the CR2-binding domain of gp350 induced potent neutralizing antibodies in mice and monkeys; the titers in these animals were 10-to 100-fold higher than those observed after vaccination with soluble gp350. The neutralizing antibody titers in mice were 100-fold higher than those seen in naturally infected humans. The CR2 binding domain of gp350 was presented on the surface of the nanoparticle in a repetitive array with a spacing of 50–100 Å. This spacing would allow crosslinking of B cell receptors to maximally stimulate B cell activation. In summary, by designing a vaccine that focuses the immune system on the viral sequence that binds its receptor, we demonstrate that a potent neutralizing antibody response can be elicited. This approach should be applicable for nanoparticle vaccines against other pathogens.

Dr. Cohen received his M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University and was a resident in medicine at Duke University. Following a medical staff fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), he was a clinical fellow in infectious diseases at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor in medicine at Harvard University. He returned to NIH, where he was the chief of the Medical Virology Section in the Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases until 2010. In June 2010, Dr. Cohen became chief of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases. His Cohen's laboratory focuses on vaccine development for Epstein-Barr virus and herpes simplex virus and identification of cellular mutations in patients with severe herpesvirus infections. He is currently completing a Phase I study of a replication-defective herpes simplex virus vaccine.

The14th Vaccines Research & Development Conference brings together a mix of academic and industry authoritative experts from leading affiliations (Harvard Medical School, National Institutes of Health, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, CureVac, GSK, Sanofi Pasteur, etc.) to cover many current and relevant aspects of newly licensed vaccines, new vaccine technologies, RNA-based vaccines, and adjuvant discovery.

This conference is also part of our larger Infectious Diseases World Summit, which consists of 4 total conferences:

14th Vaccines Research & Development
13th Anti-Infectives Partnering & Deal-Making
5th Antiviral Drugs Research & Development
2nd Bugs & Drugs: Antibacterial Drug Discovery

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