San Diego Business Journal

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology will keep running — and expand — a database popular with researchers developing new treatments and vaccines through a re-upped contract.

At no cost researchers can access the Immune Epitope Database, which holds data on how the immune system responds to allergen and other stimuli. Under the $22 million contract, which was awarded by the National Institutes of Health, the institute is slated to manage the database until 2025.

The database has more than 530,000 epitopes — molecular structures used by the immune system to tell friend from foe — involved in autoimmunity, infectious and allergic diseases, as well as organ and tissue transplantation. It’s the largest repository of its kind, according to the institute.

A goal going forward is to synthesize a proliferation of large datasets in recent years.

Researchers worldwide tap the database for help in developing new or improved vaccines against infectious diseases like tuberculosis, as well as autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes.

The database has been co-led since inception in 2003 by Alessandro Sette and Bjoern Peters of the institute.