Antigens Predicted for Broad Viral Efficacy through Computational Experimentation
The Big Question
What if we could eliminate viruses as current and future health threats?
Viruses remain a significant threat to global health and security, causing chronic illness, pandemics, and cancer. Yet we lack vaccines and therapeutics against most of these viruses. Untangling the structure and function of viral proteins, and enabling better use of tools like computer modeling, could enable quicker and more broadly successful medical countermeasure development against viruses.
The Current State
The current methods for vaccine or drug development are slow and expensive, relying on years of research, incomplete understanding of a virus protein’s structure and function, and targeted narrowly to just one virus at a time. The tools to effectively use computer models are not widely available for vaccine design.
The Antigens Predicted for Broad Viral Efficacy through Computational Experimentation (APECx) program aims to transform vaccine antigen discovery, first by developing toolkits that successfully design broadly effective antigens, targeting entire viral families, and then demonstrating the toolkits’ accuracy by evaluating candidate vaccine antigens in clinical trials.
If successful, the APECx toolkit and subsequent product development will demonstrate the possibility of broadly effective vaccines against multiple virus threats and eliminate entire types of viruses that are responsible for causing cancer, autoimmune disease, chronic illness, emerging infections, and potential pandemics.
The APECx program is focused on three areas: high-throughput biochemical analysis and protein engineering, protein modeling toolkit development for antigen design, and translational candidate development and clinical evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions
APECx anticipates that collaborative teams will be necessary to achieve the program’s goals. Prospective performers are encouraged (but not required) to form teams with varied technical expertise to submit a proposal to the APECx. We have therefore created a teaming page where prospective performers can share their profiles and learn about other interested parties.