PHILADELPHIA, – Integral Molecular, the industry leader in engineering membrane proteins, has extended its protein engineering capabilities to stabilize viral proteins and produce more effective candidate vaccines against HIV and other viruses.
The company’s protein engineering approach is based on its successful high-throughput Shotgun Mutagenesis technology. Using this approach, Integral Molecular can identify viral protein variants that have improved stability but retain their native protein structures. This strategy results in stabilized proteins that can elicit protective immune responses.
In collaboration with researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Integral Molecular developed stable trimeric HIV glycoproteins (Sullivan et al., 2017 Journal of Virology). Using a combination of rational design and empirical high-throughput screening, researchers created and tested over 800 individual mutants of the HIV envelope protein in human cells. Effective mutations were combined to produce an envelope glycoprotein variant with improved stability and native-like conformation.
“The unstable nature of viral envelope glycoproteins has been a major hurdle in the development of an effective vaccine against HIV and other viruses,” said Benjamin Doranz, President and CEO of Integral Molecular. “The high-throughput protein stabilization strategy developed here is a groundbreaking step in developing more effective vaccines.”
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) 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 15 years of experience optimizing membrane proteins, enabling the isolation, characterization, and engineering of monoclonal antibodies against otherwise intractable membrane protein targets. Integral Molecular discovers antibodies for partners in parallel with its own independent work developing antibodies for licensing. The company currently has therapeutic programs focused on pain, immunity, metabolic disorders, and infectious diseases.