Multimeric-001 Universal Flu Vaccine, an experimental vaccine to fight all influenza virus strains in all seasons is currently undergoing patient testing.
Multimeric-001 Universal influenza (flu) Vaccine has been found having the potential to provide multi-season and multi-strain protection against most human influenza virus strains, including both seasonal influenza strains as well as pandemic influenza strains, such as swine flu and avian flu, according to the developer of the vaccine BiondVax.
BiondVax uses its proprietary technology combines conserved epitopes from influenza virus proteins to activate the immune system for a cross-protecting and long-lasting effect.
BiondVax has recently successfully concluded a second Phase I/II clinical trial for Multimeric-001 vaccine in 60 people, males and females, aged 55-75.
Patients received two intramuscular injections containing Multimeric-001 vaccine at two different dose levels. This was then followed by an administration of a commercially available seasonal influenza vaccine.
In another trial conducted in December 2009, with 63 participants aged 18-49, the vaccine was shown to be safe and to effectively activate both humoral (antibody) and cellular arms of the human immune system.
The study conducted at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel showed a significant increase in the level of antibodies against the Multimeric-001 Universal Flu Vaccine.
Multimeric-001 Universal Flu Vaccine also caused a statistically significant elevation in the secretion of Interferon Gamma and Interleukin-2, substances that have an anti-viral effect.
In addition, despite the fact that the immune systems of the older group participating in this second trial are naturally weaker than those of the younger group that participated in the first trial, it was again found that the Multimeric-001 Universal Flu Vaccine successfully activated the two arms of the human immune system – the humoral (antibody) arm and the cellular arm.
“We are especially gratified by the positive results found in the older population group, which exceeded our expectations, as this is a group in which the immune system response is more difficult to stimulate than in younger adults,” stated Dr. Ron Babecoff, BiondVax CEO.
The success of this trial in the older population group is extremely important. The vaccine was shown safe for use and effectively activates the immune system, even in the older population group that has a naturally weaker immune response, and hence is one of the groups most at risk from influenza infections.
BiondVax is preparing to conduct another expanded study in two centers in Israel, in around 160 participants 18-49 years old. This trial is expected to commence in the second half of 2010.
BiondVax Pharmaceuticals is a publicly-traded company based in Rechovot, Israel.
The Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist, a division of the Israeli Ministry of Trade and Industry, has recently awarded a one-year NIS 3.8 million ($1 million) grant to further the development of a novel universal influenza vaccine.
This new grant is the third consecutive grant that BiondVax has received from the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist, following previous grants of NIS 2.4 million ($580,000) and NIS 2.75 million ($720,000) received in April 2009 and January 2008 respectively for the universal vaccine development programme.