Research Horizons


Cincinnati Children’s Inks Sponsored Research Agreement With Blue Water Vaccines

Cincinnati Children’s has entered into a sponsored research agreement with a vaccine development company, which builds on a previous licensing arrangement with the local firm related to nanoparticle technology developed at the medical center.

Cincinnati-based Blue Water Vaccines Inc. is exploring development of vaccines based on a norovirus shell and protrusion (S&P) platform for multiple diseases.

Ming Tan, PhD, associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, is principal investigator for the research at Cincinnati Children’s.

“This agreement is an important step toward developing vaccines against multiple diseases that affect millions of individuals each year,” Tan says. “Through this agreement and in collaboration with Blue Water, we can continue our research and work toward development of beneficial vaccines.”

In July 2021, Cincinnati Children’s entered an exclusive, global licensing agreement with Blue Water to develop vaccines for multiple diseases using the medical center’s virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine platform. The platform is being used to develop BWV-301 for gastroenteritis caused by norovirus or rotavirus.

Read about the licensing agreement

Through the sponsored research agreement, Blue Water states in a news release that the company will further fund research into this platform’s versatility across other diseases, including influenza and Alzheimer’s disease.

“We are very excited to continue our collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s and fund this research,” says Joseph Hernandez, chief executive officer of Blue Water Vaccines. “Research from Cincinnati Children’s has shown great promise for this platform, and we look forward to continuing this relationship to address significant public health challenges through effective vaccines.”

The strategic research agreement initiates the integration of the epitopes of limited variability identified at the University of Oxford into the S&P platform for vaccine development, Blue Water states.

In addition, the strategic research agreement funds Cincinnati Children’s research analyzing the applicability of this platform to develop a vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease. Preliminary research indicates the potential to develop a vaccine to target and inactivate amyloid-beta, which can accumulate and form plaques commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Tan has a financial interest in the virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine platform technology that Cincinnati Children’s licensed to Blue Water Vaccines.