Development of a universal influenza vaccine based on tandem core technology
Funding: 7.FRAMEWORK, national co-financing
Grant agreement No.: 602437
Period: from 1st September 2013 till 31st March 2017
FLUTCORE will develop a novel universal influenza A virus (IAV) vaccine based on the tandem hepatitis B virus core platform. Recent influenza pandemics have emphasized the urgent need for better vaccines that are reactive with multiple IAV subtypes. We propose to replace the existing seasonal IAV vaccine with a virus like particle (VLP) carrying several invariant “universal” influenza antigens. Previous attempts to use these targets have failed due to the poor antigen expression and immunogenicity. The highly immunogenic tandem core system overcomes this limitation. Specifically, we propose to develop a VLP carrying two or more invariant influenza antigens, express these in yeast and then examine immunogenicity in mice. The vaccine will be further tested in the rigorous ferret system before being scaled up for manufacture. An optimal clone will then be transferred to an accredited contract manufacturer for production. A phase I clinical trial will be carried out once pre-clinical toxicology has been successfully completed. To achieve these objectives, our proposal builds upon the complementary expertise of seven high-performing partners representing four European countries, with world leadership in HBV core biology, immunological analysis, commercial manufacture and influenza clinical trials, making our consortium ideally positioned to develop the vaccine and to take it from bench to bedside. More detailed information can be found in project homepage www.flutcore.eu.