Scalable, Highly Immunogenic, Polysaccharide-Peptide Nanoparticle Vaccine for Protection against Many Bacterial Serotypes

Web Published:

Princeton Docket # 15-3168-1


Researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University have developed a new nanoparticle vaccine platform which enables nanoparticle functionalization with polysaccharides and immunogenic peptides, allowing for the possibility of nanoparticle functionalization with a number of different serotypes.


The major cause of serious bacterial illness is infection by polysaccharide-encapsulated bacteria. Glycoconjugate vaccines have the potential to generate long-term immunity to these bacteria. The most commonly used vaccine development method is to chemically conjugate bacterial capsular polysaccharides to immunogenic proteins, such as Tetanus toxoid, diphtheria toxoid, and CRM197. However, this method has hit its limit in the case of the 25-valent pneumococcal vaccine, PNEUMOVAX 23, as developed by Merck. This is because the immunogenic globular proteins as carriers have a limited amount of chemical linking sites. Additionally, there are disadvantages of this method: 1), the low loading of polysaccharides reduces the efficacy of vaccine; 2), the attempt to conjugate multiple and different polysaccharides to the same protein carrier leads to substantial heterogeneity which in turn reduces batch to batch consistency; and 3), globular proteins are difficult or costly to stabilize and store.


This invention is a platform for a scalable, highly immunogenic, self-adjuvanting polysaccharide-peptide nanoparticle vaccine that can protect against many bacterial serotypes. The platform utilizes Flash NanoPrecipitation (FNP) with block copolymers that are pre-functionalized with bacterial polysaccharides and immunogenic peptides, allowing for the possibility of nanoparticle functionalization with polysaccharides from a number of different serotypes. It allows for the precise control of polysaccharide and peptide type and amount per nanoparticle. The individually functionalized block copolymer can be stored at ambient temperatures and formulated rapidly when required.


The novelty lies with the structure of block-copolymer to peptide or polysaccharide or peptide-polysaccharide, and the ability to pre-purify and characterize each vaccine component before vaccine nanoparticle assembly. It allows for the incorporation either by encapsulation or surface presentation of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMP) that stimulate the innate immune system. The process retains all GMP and CMC scalability as FNP, a technology developed and patented by Princeton University.




•       Nanoparticle Vaccine for use with multiple bacterial serotypes

•       Study of immunology of an immune response with surface imaging agent




•       Controlled ratio of peptide to polysaccharide

•       Encapsulation or surface presentation of PAMP

•       Scalable

•       GMP synthesis

•       Self-adjuvanting


Key Words


Nanoparticle, vaccine, glycoconjugate, immunogenic peptide, flash nanoprecipitation (FNP), GMP, imaging


The Faculty Inventor


Robert K. Prud’homme is a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Director of the Program in Engineering Biology at Princeton University. His research focuses on how weak forces at the molecular level determine macroscopic properties at larger length scales. Equal time is spent understanding the details of molecular-level interactions using NMR, neutron scattering, x-ray scattering, or electron microscopy and making measurements of bulk properties such as rheology, diffusion of proteins in gels, drop sizes of sprays, or pressure drop measurements in porous media. A major focus of his lab’s research is on using self-assembly to construct nanoparticles for drug delivery and imaging. His work is highly interdisciplinary; many of the projects involve joint advisors and collaborations with researchers at NIH, Argonne National Labs, CNRS in France, or major corporate research.


Intellectual Property & Development Status

Proof of concept studies have been completed and are available under confidentiality.

Patent protection is pending. The synthesis of nanocarriers uses Flash Nano Precipitation (FNP), has been successfully patented (US 8137699) and continuation applications are pending.

Princeton is seeking to identify appropriate partners for the further development and commercialization of this technology.



Laurie Tzodikov

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing

• (609) 258-7256•

Xin (Shane) Peng

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing

• (609) 258-5579•


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Laurie Tzodikov
Licensing Associates
Princeton University
Nikolas Weissmueller
Robert Prud'homme
Ruth Rosenthal
drug delivery