Novel Interferon Fusion Polypeptides as Antiviral and Cancer Therapeutics

Synergistic effects of IFN-β and IFN-λ on in vivo tumor growth

Invention Summary:

Interferons (IFNs) are well known for their potent broad-spectrum antiviral activities. In addition, these pluripotent cytokines can also regulate cell growth and differentiation, tissue homeostasis and angiogenesis, and immune and inflammatory responses in various physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Due to their diverse functions, clinical applications for IFNs include treatment of chronic and acute viral infections, various malignancies, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Rutgers scientists have developed novel fusion proteins of type I and type III IFNs with the potential to target a broader array of cell types and tissues. Moreover, they have both fast-acting and long-lasting effects for treating viral infections and/or cancer. The potent antiviral activity of the fusion IFN-β-IFN-λ protein was demonstrated in vitro. In addition, the fusion protein strongly inhibited tumor growth in a mouse model of breast cancer.

Market Applications:

  • Cancer Therapeutics
  • Antiviral Therapeutics
  • Disease Prevention/Treatment


  • Ability to target multiple cell types/organs that display receptors for either type I or type III IFNs
  • Combination of the fast action of type I IFNs with long lasting effects of type III IFNs in a single peptide
  • Potentially synergistic effects
  • Simplified production and delivery as a single molecule
  • Potential higher efficacy due to higher affinity binding to the receptors

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Rutgers ID: S2017-066
Life Sciences
Shan Wan
Senior Licensing Manager
(848) 932-4468
Sergei Kotenko
Joan Durbin