Case ID: UH22-001L

Published: 2024-06-11 11:05:41

Last Updated: 1718103941


Tung Hoang
Ian McMillan
Yun Heacock-Kang
Zhenxin (Amy) Sun
Jan Zarzycki-Siek
Michael Norris

Technology categories

Life Science (All LS Techs)Non-Cancer TherapeuticsVaccines/Antimicrobials

Licensing Contacts

Jovan Heusser
Director of Licensing and Business Development
[email protected]

Novel Vaccines and Therapeutics Against Melioidosis


Melioidosis, also commonly known as Whitmore’s disease, is an infection caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei (B. pseudomallei) that currently has an estimated mortality rate of 54%. This bacteria lives in contaminated soil and surface water, and can be transmitted to humans or animals through direct contact. This bacterium is more commonly found in tropical climates and has been known to cause melioidosis outbreaks in these regions. However, there is currently no commercially available vaccines against melioidosis to prevent the infection or therapeutics beyond traditional antibiotics to help treat the infection.

Invention Description

Researchers at the University of Hawaii have discovered novel virulence factors responsible for infection with B. pseudomallei, the bacterium that causes melioidosis. These virulence factors are ideal targets for the development of both vaccines and therapeutics against infection with B. pseudomallei to provide two additional layers of protection against the bacterium. The development of therapeutics using these virulence factors will help alleviate the burden of normal antimicrobial therapies. The initial vaccine prototype developed performed well in initial tests, and shows promise as a preventative measure against infection.

Potential Applications

  • Vaccination against B. pseudomallei infection, which can develop into melioidosis
  • Immunotherapy to supplement antimicrobial treatment for B. pseudomallei infection

Benefits and Advantages

  • Provides two layers of defense against B. pseudomallei infection (vaccination & therapeutics)
  • Safe recombinant vaccine format – showed 100% survival in initial animal tests
  • Also protective against the pathogen Burkholderia mallei, which causes the disease glanders