The integrated anti-HCMV/anti-GBM vaccine

The integrated anti-HCMV/anti-GBM vaccine

Project title: The integrated anti-HCMV/anti-GBM vaccine

Program – Proof of concept for scientists is intended for financing ideas, concepts, prototypes and intellectual property protection. The emphasis is put on the technological risk, and the main criteria are market orientation and innovativeness.

Grantor: Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO)

Grantor’s website:

Coordinator: Hrvoje Šimić, MD

Research team:
Suzana Malić, laboratory engineer
Prof. Dr. Stipan Jonjić
Assistant Professor Berislav Lisnić
Lea Hiršl, MA

Total funding (MEDRI): 349.776,99 HRK

Brief description:

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) represents the most malignant form of brain tumor. The overall survival prognosis is extremely short and life expectancy with standard treatment is about 14-16 months. The standard treatment includes surgical resection followed by radiation therapy and temozolamide (Temodal). Complete surgical excision is made impossible by the tumor's ability to disseminate outside its visible borders. The latest research also demonstrates the important role of Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in glioma spread and immune evasion. Inefficacy of standard treatment induced the development of different strategies for finding the optimal way to treat this disease. Currently, there are clinical trials ongoing which show some promising results using peptide-based vaccines and antiviral drugs. The goal of vaccination is to stimulate own immune capacity to fight the cancer cells. Different vaccination tactics are currently evaluated for GBM treatment. So far, none of them has demonstrated high efficacy in inducing protective immune response The goal of this project is the construction and experimental evaluation of a new combined HCMV/GBM vaccine. The vaccine will be based on HCMV as a carrier of GBM-associated antigens EGFRvIII and IDH1.

The project team has already achieved significant results in a vaccine design field, especially in development of CMV vaccine and therefore, it has substantial technical know-how for the implementation of the proposed project.