INV412 is the project name for our vaccine candidate against infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Mastitis (inflammation of the udder of cattle) can be caused by several different species of bacteria with S. aureus being one of the most common. There is a great need for a vaccine against mastitis, preferably a multi-component vaccine to protect against several bacteria which cause mastitis.

Historically, several attempts have been made to develop vaccines against S. aureus infections but with very limited success. The difficulty has been that these vaccines were based on conventional technology with killed bacteria or capsular polysaccharides with doubtful efficacy and low immunogenicity. The use of recombinant proteins as components of a vaccine against S. aureus has been tested. Many of these attempts have been based on only one protein in the vaccine, proteins with high variability between different S. aureus strains or proteins where antibodies were not able to neutralize its function.

New opportunities

The technology Intervacc uses opens up new possibilities to develop a vaccine against S. aureus. A number of proteins whose function is to hamper the healing process of an infected wound, which interferes with the body’s early immune system, and who by their surface localisation are accessible for antibodies will be fused at the DNA level to reduce the number of components in the vaccine. Antibodies to these staphylococcal proteins have been shown to neutralise these functions of importance for the infectious process.