New vaccine to fight multiple vaccine strains

August 21, 2008

A universal vaccine effective against several strains of influenza has passed its first phase of testing, according to Dr. Christine Turley of the University of Texas at Galveston.

Turley, who is director of clinical trials and clinical research at the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development at UTMB and the study's principal investigator, said that VaxInnate's M2e universal vaccine could possibly protect against seasonal and pandemic influenza strains.

"We'd characterize this influenza vaccine candidate as very promising, based upon the immune responses and tolerability we saw in the clinical trial participants," Turley said. "UTMB is committed to further studies of the vaccine candidate, which has the potential to be a safe, highly effective and much-needed option to prevent seasonal and pandemic influenza A."

The results of the study will be presented at the Oct.25-28 joint meeting of the Interscience Conference on Agents and Chemotherapy and the Infectious Disease Society of America (ICAAC/IDSA).

The study was supported by a $9.5 million grant awarded to UTMB by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The trial involved 60 young adults in a double-blind, dose-escalating, first time in human, Phase I study to assess the safety and immunogenicity, or the ability to produce a response in the immune system, of the vaccine.

The trial was also designed to evaluate the methods used by VaxInnate to develop and produce flu vaccines. The company uses a proprietary combination of toll-like receptor-mediated immune enhancement and recombinant bacterial production of vaccine antigen. This proprietary technology could significantly reduce the time required to produce vaccine supplies sufficient to meet national demand, and provide a solution to international influenza vaccine needs which are unmet in all but the developed world.

Source: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

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