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Promising Efective & Safe Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Vaccine Based on VLPs

Ref-Nr: TA-P-989


Virus-like particles (VLPs) of EBV, completely devoid of viral DNA, for the prevention of infectious mononucleosis (IM) and EBV-associated diseases like lymphomas often developed in patients with immunosuppression.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the most common etiological agent of infectious mononucleosis (IM) and a major cause of virus-associated human cancers, predominantely lymphomas and carcinomas. EBV infection mostly occurs in early childhood and remains usually asymptomatic. However, in highly developed countries up to 50% of adolescents remain EBV-negative. Delayed EBV infections often leads to the development of IM with a median duration of 16 days and only gradual recovery. Long-lasting fatigue for several month interferes with productivity and diminishes the quality of life. Following primary infection, EBV establishes a clinically silent persistent B-cell infection in healthy individuals. Immunsuppression, typically in the setting of organ transplantation or after HIV infection, often results in increased EBV loads and a higher risk of developing EBVassociated diseases. Therefore, many efforts have been devoted to the development of prophylactic and therapeutic EBV vaccines, but up to now, with limited success. We have developed EBV virus-like particles (VLPs) that express a wide spectrum of structural viral proteins and elicit a potent cytotoxic CD4-positive T-cell response. In the present invention DKFZ inventors knocked out two proteins involved in DNA packaging. This allows the production of VLPs completely devoid of viral DNA that offer a safe and effective preventative vaccine against EBV infection.


In the present invention, DKFZ inventors used recombinant technology to excise two proteins (BBRF1 and BFLF1) involved in DNA packaging. 


  • Prevention of EBV-associated malignancies
  • New VLPs devoid of viral DNA (infectious and contaminating DNA)


DKFZ is looking for an industrial partner to further develop the preventive vaccine based on the VLPEBVs. 

Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum DKFZ

Dr. Christian Kliem
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg





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