USPTO issues patent for Mymetics virosome vaccines

Patent to allow Mymetics to develop a range of possible vaccines

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a notice of allowance to Switzerland-based biotechnology company Mymetics Corporation, a pioneer in the development of vaccines preventing early transmission of human infectious diseases, for the patent application 'Phospholipid Virosome' # 10/544,939, based on WO 04/071492.

Mymetics already uses this new production method for its Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) vaccine that are in preclinical development.

The patent, which describes a method for the production of virosome vaccines based on a short-chain phospholipid, was developed by Mymetics BV in collaboration with the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands.

A virosome is a drug or vaccine delivery mechanism consisting of a lipid membrane based on an enveloped virus. This membrane can incorporate virus-derived proteins to allow the virosomes to fuse with target cells or it can be used as the full natural membrane and proteins of the virus to develop an appropriate vaccine.

Mymetics BV was formerly known as Virosome Biologicals, which was acquired by Mymetics Corporation in April 2009.

Since the opposition period for the European equivalent of the patent ended at the same time, without opposition being filed, and considering that patent was also granted in most Asian countries, the key technology that will be the basis for Mymetics' future vaccines is now secure.

Mymetics BV CSO Toon Stegmann said: "this patent not only allows Mymetics to use a production method that results in better yields and provides an increased activity of virosome vaccines, but it also allows Mymetics to develop virosome based vaccines on any other enveloped virus than flu."

Mymetics CEO Jacques-François Martin said that the patent complements very well the intellectual property portfolio around Mymetics' vaccine pipeline and broadens, in particular, their technology platform to develop other non-influenza virosome based vaccines.