Jacob Glanville of Distributed Bio in the U.S. will complete the pre-clinical development of Centivax Flu, a universal vaccine to protect humans and livestock against all forms of seasonal and pandemic influenza, in order to begin first-in-human studies in 2021. Pandemic and seasonal influenza have killed millions of people – the 1918 pandemic alone caused more deaths than World War One – and has led to widespread culling of infected swine and poultry populations. Current vaccines target highly variable regions of seasonal influenza and must be redesigned annually. In addition, population growth, expanded travel networks, and industrial farming practices have increased the risk of pandemic outbreaks. Centivax consists of low doses of 30 computationally-selected, distant evolutionary variants of influenza hemagluttinin (HA) protein epitopes. When the vaccine is administered, only B cells that recognize conserved epitopes respond, and the result is a broad and highly effective immune response that destroys the virus. In this project, they will optimize the formulation with four new adjuvant types, and confirm the conformational stability of the proteins in each. They will also optimize in vivo delivery of the vaccine in domestic pig, and evaluate its safety and efficacy in pigs and ferrets. The veterinary vaccine is expected to be on the market, and the human vaccine ready for human testing, in 2021.
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