Human Rhinovirus (HRV) is the most common viral infectious agent in humans and is the predominant cause of the common cold. HRV has been shown to cause serious exacerbations in vulnerable patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma or cystic fibrosis, and can be life-threatening in premature babies at risk.
HRV shows very high variability with >200 strains and serotypes. There are no approved vaccines against these viruses as there is little-to-no cross-protection between serotypes.
Viravaxx is currently among the few companies developing rhinovirus vaccines. Viravaxx’ VVX003 is a vaccine candidate with broad strain coverage. To this end, the essential HRV coat proteins VP1 and VP2 have been dissected into a library of overlapping peptides. Fusion proteins constructed with these peptides have demonstrated blocking activity in cell culture assays for multiple phylogenetically distant HRV strains.