2022-084 – Virus-Like Particle (VLP)-Based Vaccines Against Inflammasomes in Various Inflammatory Diseases


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is an inflammatory cytokine that is a major signaling component of the innate immune system. It plays a protective role in response to infections and tissue injury. However, excessive IL-1 signaling can contribute to inflammatory disease. Thus, there are currently several drugs in use that directly targets IL-1β signaling for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Although targeting IL-1 signaling directly is sometimes effective for the management of several diseases, targeting the upstream production of IL-1, may be more effective. For instance, inflammasomes, the primary mediators of the signaling process, may be an ideal target since they are responsible for the maturation of IL-1 cytokines. Especially the apoptosis-associated speck-like (ASC) protein, a common component of numerous inflammasome types, can behave as a signal amplification platform for enhanced IL-1 maturation.

Technology Description
Researchers at the University of New Mexico’s Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology have developed vaccines against inflammasome-mediated inflammatory diseases by exploiting a VLP-based platform technology. The vaccines target epitopes on the apoptosis-associated speck-like (ASC) protein, a common component of numerous inflammasome types. The synthesized products are Qβ VLPs displaying ASC peptide epitopes that are capable of inducing strong B cell response for the production of high affinity antibodies against the ASC epitope antigen. As a result, this vaccine technology has therapeutic potential for the treatment of a variety of inflammatory diseases including but not limited to autoinflammatory diseases, metabolic syndromes, acute inflammation, chronic inflammatory diseases, malignancy, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.


  • Highly efficient, safe, economical approach
  • Targets proteins responsible for damaging inflammation
  • One of the first promising therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Increases antibodies without inducing severe inflammatory response

Potential Applications

  • Autoinflammatory Diseases
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
    • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Inflammatory cytokines
    • Acute Inflammation
    • Chronic Inflammation
  • Metabolic Syndromes
  • Malignancy

Contact Information

Name: Gregg Banninger

Email: GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu

Phone: 505-272-7908