Congenital CMV infection occurs when a pregnant woman is exposed to CMV and the CMV passes from the pregnant woman to her unborn child. CMV is the most common congenital viral infection in the western industrialized world. More children have disabilities due to congenital CMV than other well-known infections and syndromes, including Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and Pediatric HIV/AIDS. In figures this means: Of yearly 700’000 pregnancies in Germany, 1’500 children are born with congenital CMV, causing 40 deaths and leaving 500 with permanent disabilities.
In patients with weakened immune systems, due to organ transplants, HIV/AIDS infection, chemotherapy, and various medications, CMV can cause serious problems. CMV infections are also linked with rejection or malfunction of the transplant.
The Institute of Medicine has ranked the development of a CMV vaccine as a highest priority because of the lives it would save and the disabilities it would prevent. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, USA)
Redbiotec’s designer VLP candidates carry CMV surface proteins and a selected capsid protein for conversion of the CMV virus into a VLP. As clinically relevant CMV proteins are chosen to mimic the natural virus, we believe these candidates have the potential for effective CMV prevention. Based on the technology platform the assembly of surface and embedded proteins can be designed in a flexible manner in order to address the broad cell tropism of the natural virus.