Infectious Disease

NIAID launches trial of universal flu vaccine candidate

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Key takeaways:

  • The NIAID launched a phase 1 trial of a universal influenza vaccine.
  • There are more than 30 trials trying to find what has been called the Holy Grail of influenza vaccines.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced this week that it has started enrolling participants in a phase 1 trial testing of an experimental universal influenza vaccine that uses a messenger RNA platform.

The trial will enroll adults aged 18 to 49 years at Duke University to evaluate the safety of the vaccine candidate, H1ssF-3928 mRNA-LNP, its ability to induce an immune response, the optimal dosage and how it compares with currently available quadrivalent influenza vaccines , the NIH said.

IDN0523NIH_flu_Graphic_01_WEB

Data derived from the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

The vaccine is entering a crowded field. According to the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which tracks universal influenza vaccine development, there are more than 170 candidates in the pipeline that use six different types of platforms, including 35 that have entered clinical trials.

Five universal influenza vaccines are in phase 3 development, including mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, who used the technology to create the United States’ first COVID-19 vaccines.

A universal vaccine that can protect against all known and unknown strains of influenza has long been considered the Holy Grail of influenza vaccine research. Such a vaccine could eliminate the need for seasonal vaccines and yearly shots.

References:

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