Technology: Antioxidant Complex Protects Proteins in New Vaccine Approach

A Novel Vaccine Inactivation Platform

Inactivated vaccines are the fastest and economical  to manufacture, however, the most common inactivation methods create drawbacks, with additional production steps required for the removal of chemicals, and potential for loss of structure and imbue response. Irradiation of bacteria or viruses is an alternative method to produce inactivated vaccine material, however the method is limited by immunogenicity loss. This is due to oxidative damage to cell surface proteins at the high radiation doses required to inactivate viruses.

Increasing Efficacy and Speeding Development

Researchers at USU and HJF have developed a novel approach to develop better functioning of inactivated vaccines. The method applies the synthetic antioxidant complex manganese-decapeptide-phosphate (MDP) during the irradiation process to selectively protect cell proteins – but not nucleic acids – from radiation induced oxidative damage. The technique was developed by using antioxidants from Deinococcus radiodurans as a source.


USU and HJF researchers have developed a method to abolish the infectivity of pathogens without compromising their potency, yielding highly protective vaccines.

  • Vaccine 

Other Non-Vaccine Potential Applications

  • Radioprotectant skin care cosmetics as an additive compound for sunscreen lotions and creams

Solution Advantages

This approach offers the potential for a fast and cost-effective method of vaccine inactivation for any bacterial or viral pathogen of interest. The process has been successfully demonstrated in virus strains for Polio and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), and strains were found to be completely inactivated in vivo and efficacy of the vaccines has been tested in animal studies. 

Highly immunogenic: Generates a strong immune system response resulting in potentially effective vaccines. 

Bacterial and Virus vaccine platforms: Provides a rapid and potentially universal inactivation strategy for any pathogen requiring immediate attention. 

Speeds Vaccine development: has the potential to shorten the development time for vaccines leading to quicker introduction into the market. 



  • Patents have been granted in multiple countries, represented by issued US patents US9234168B2 and US10342871B2. 

  • Preclinical proof of concept in vitro and in vivo for both bacterial and viral vaccines. 

Related Publications

Deinococcus Mn 2+-peptide complex: A novel approach to alphavirus vaccine development

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