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Vaccine. 2011 Sep 23;29(42):7267-75. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.07.021. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

The development of recombinant subunit envelope-based vaccines to protect against dengue virus induced disease.

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Merck and Co., 770 Sumneytown Pike, West Point, PA 19486, United States.


Challenges associated with the interference observed between the dengue virus components within early tetravalent live-attenuated vaccines led many groups to explore the development of recombinant subunit based vaccines. Initial efforts in the field were hampered by low yields and/or improper folding, but the use of the Drosophila S2 cell expression system provided a mechanism to overcome these limitations. The truncated dengue envelope proteins (DEN-80E) for all four dengue virus types are expressed in the S2 system at high levels and have been shown to maintain native-like conformation. The DEN-80E proteins are potent immunogens when formulated with a variety of adjuvants, inducing high titer virus neutralizing antibody responses and demonstrating protection in both mouse and non-human primate models. Tetravalent vaccine formulations have shown no evidence of immune interference between the four DEN-80E antigens in preclinical models. Based on the promising preclinical data, the recombinant DEN-80E proteins have now advanced into clinical studies. An overview of the relevant preclinical data for these recombinant proteins is presented in this review.

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