Development of a meningococcal disease vaccine based on heat shock protein complexes

Lead Research Organisation: Public Health England
Department Name: Research & Development Office


There is an urgent need for an effect vaccine to prevent serogroup B meningococcal disease. This causes about 1200-1500 cases of disease with about 100 deaths per year in the UK, with many more deaths worldwide. To date scientists have not been able to develop a vaccine that can protect against all the strains that cause disease. This vaccine, based on heat shock protein complexes presents a wide range of parts of the bacterium to the human immune system in a very effective way, offering the potential for cross strain protection. This proposal is to develop a manufacturing process for the vaccine so it can be made in the quantity and manner to be suitable for injection into large numbers of children.

Technical Summary

MenBioVax is a novel meningococcal disease vaccine which has demonstrated proof of concept and shows potential to elicit cross strain protection.The vaccine contains heat shock protein complexes (HspCs) produced during Neisseria meningitidis or N. lactamica fermentation that has undergone heat shock. HspCs are able to elicit broad immune responses with the pathogen specificity provided by the range of peptides they chaperone. Laboratory vaccines have been produced and sera from vaccinated mice shown to mediate protection against lethal challenge in a mouse model of meningococcal septicaemia. In addition, opsonophagocytosis and antibody-mediated deposition of complement membrane attack complex against a panel of diverse meningococcal strains representing the majority of serogroup B meningococcal disease in developed countries has been demonstrated. MenBioVax therefore has the potential to confer development of a broad, immune response against the meningococcus. The objective of this translational proposal is to development a manufacturing process for MenBioVax that can be used for safety and early phase clinical evaluation.
Title Heat shock protein vaccine based on Neisseria lactamica 
Description A meningococcal disease vaccine based on commensal Neisseria stress protein preparations 
IP Reference WO2011033319 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed No
Impact Approach protected
Title Heat shock protein-enriched meningococcal disease vaccine 
Description A vaccine for meningococcal disease enriched in heat shock proteins. We have developed a GMP-ready manufacturing process. Funding from MRC DPFS. Current development of the vaccine is funded by ImmBio in their own laboratories. 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Vaccines
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Non-clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2011
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact Product current still undergoing preclinical testing