New EU Project to Develop a Novel Pandemic Influenza Vaccine

EUInternational experts in the field of human virus research and vaccine development have teamed up to develop a pandemic influenza vaccine. The aim of the EU-funded FluVac project is to conduct research and development (R&D) into a novel pandemic influenza vaccine that could be used as a potential emergency vaccination. The project partners, recently awarded a grant of €3.5 million under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), plan to deliver a prototype vaccine within four years.

The emergence of the highly pathogenic strain of avian flu (H5N1) in South East Asia was accompanied by concerns about a potential pandemic influenza outbreak. Prevention and control in such a scenario would depend on the availability of large quantities of a highly effective vaccine at short notice.

"In the event of an influenza pandemic, vaccination will play a key role in its control. Therefore, availability of a sufficient number of vaccine doses will be critical. In this project, we will exploit the potency of the adjuvant [a substance added to a vaccine to increase the body's immune response to it] to potentiate immunity and to reduce the antigen dose required per vaccination," explains Dr Luuk Hilgers, the scientific coordinator of the project at Nobilon International.

As combining a powerful new adjuvant with a novel H5N1 vaccine has produced encouraging results, the project will now move on to developing the vaccine in phase I and II clinical trials. These are expected to take place within two years.

If the trials are successful, the consortium will then carry out further clinical development, and eventually market the vaccine.

"At the end of the project, we expect to have a prototype (concept) flu vaccine with proven efficacy and safety in humans, ready for further development to control an influenza pandemic," Dr Hilgers explained.

The European Commission has funded many research projects targeting influenza, providing funding of over €90 million since 2001. Such research will continue under FP7, and the Commission recently announced the first projects in this area that will receive funding under FP7. Of 44 influenza-related proposals received by the Commission, 11 have been pre-selected for funding. The projects selected are set to receive some €27 million between them, and address issues such as diagnostics, drug and vaccine development and capacity building.

For further information, please visit:
http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/controlmeasures/avian/index_en.htm

Copyright ©European Communities, 2007
Neither the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, nor any person acting on its behalf, is responsible for the use, which might be made of the attached information. The attached information is drawn from the Community R&D Information Service (CORDIS). The CORDIS services are carried on the CORDIS Host in Luxembourg - http://cordis.europa.eu. Access to CORDIS is currently available free-of-charge.

Most Popular Now

Swissmedic begins rolling review of Moderna's mRNA…

Moderna, Inc., (Nasdaq: MRNA) a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for...

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate meets its pri…

Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for...

Pfizer and BioNTech conclude Phase 3 study of COV…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced that, after conducting the final efficacy analysis in their ongoing Phase 3 study, their mRNA-based...

Pfizer and BioNTech to submit Emergency Use Author…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced they will submit a request today to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authori...

Phase 2 trial of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in health…

The UK's vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 shows similar safety and immunogenicity results in healthy older adults (aged 56 years and over) to those seen in adults aged 18-55 ye...

Lilly's neutralizing antibody bamlanivimab (LY-CoV…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Eli Lilly and Company's (NYSE: LLY) investigational neutralizing antibody bamlan...

Chinese vaccine candidate based on inactivated SAR…

Results from an early-phase randomised clinical trial of a Chinese vaccine candidate based on the inactivated whole SARS-CoV-2 virus (CoronaVac) are published in The Lanc...

Medicago and GSK announce start of Phase 2/3 clini…

Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, and GSK have announced the start of Phase 2/3 clinical trials of its plant-derived vaccine candidate f...

European Commission approves contract with BioNTec…

Today, the European Commission approved a fourth contract with pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer, which provides for the initial purchase of 200 million doses ...

Pre-existing coronavirus antibodies could help pro…

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and University College London have found that some antibodies, created by the immune system during infection with common cold c...

Fluvoxamine may prevent serious illness in COVID-1…

In a preliminary study of COVID-19 patients with mild-to-moderate disease who were attempting to recover in their homes, researchers at Washington University School of Me...

The Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine efficacy amounted t…

The National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after N.F. Gamaleya of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation (Gamaleya Center) and the Rus...