Vaccine for BK Polyomavirus-associated Infections in Transplant Recipients

Nearly all adults have chronic urinary tract infections with one or more strains of BK polyomavirus (BKV). In healthy persons, the infection is controlled by the immune system and no symptoms are apparent. However, immunosuppressed persons, such as organ transplant recipients, can suffer from bladder disease or kidney disease caused by uncontrolled BKV growth. BKV causes cancer in animals; it is unknown if the same is true in humans. A significant need remains for a means of preventing BKV infection and associated pathologies.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, developed compositions and therapeutic methods for pre-vaccination of organ transplant recipients against BKV and prognostic methods to identify patients that may benefit from the vaccination. Methods for producing a BKV vaccine against all four known BKV serotypes are in development.

The NCI Center for Cancer Research, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, seek parties to license or co-develop this technology.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • An effective multivalent BKV vaccine to prevent BKV-associated pathologies of the urinary tract and bladder.
  • A prognostic kit to determine clinical benefit.
  • Tests for identifying renal transplant donors and recipients.
  • A successful proof-of-principle study in mice has been conducted.
  • The inventors have identified the major virulent BKV serotype.
  • No vaccine for BKV infection currently exists.
  • If BKV is linked to cancer, the technology might be relevant to vaccines applicable to the general public.

Development Stage:
Pre-clinical (in vivo)


Christopher Buck (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Diana Pastrana (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 6030650 issued 2016-10-28

Pastrana DV et al. Neutralization serotyping of BK polyomavirus infection in kidney transplant recipients PMID: 22511874

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-168-2011
Updated: Mar 21, 2018