Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

UNIVERSAL VACCINE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 17749
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Sweden

New vaccine to target range of influenza strains

An EU-funded initiative brought together SMEs working at the cutting edge of science to develop a powerful new mucosal vaccine for humans.
New vaccine to target range of influenza strains
Influenza is a global threat and affects millions of people in Europe and around the world every year. Traditional influenza vaccines suffer from a number of drawbacks.Tthey are manufactured annually and are based on strains recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) nine months before the onset of the influenza season. Therefore, there is a possibility that the annual influenza vaccine will not sufficiently target the influenza strain that comes in to circulation.

Another drawback is that the traditional approach has been to produce a vaccine using fertilised chicken eggs. However, this method is both slow and expensive, resulting in limited supplies of the vaccine and it being unsuitable for people who are allergic to eggs. Furthermore, this method of manufacture cannot respond quickly enough when a new influenza strain arises.

The 'Novel antigen-adjuvant vehicle as an effective influenza vaccine' (Universal Vaccine) project developed a treatment that provides broad protection against a wide range of influenza strains. The new vaccine can be created much faster than through traditional production methods and is easily administered via the nose, rather than by injection.

Researchers created a new vaccine that is not based on the egg method. They formulated the vaccine's different components, which were tested both in an artificial environment and in animals. The consortium developed several vaccine candidates that provided protection in mice and demonstrated adequate and relevant immunological responses. By refining the composition of the various parts of the vaccine, an optimal candidate vaccine can be developed that provides life-long protection against influenza.

Project outcomes resulted in valuable new knowledge regarding the mechanisms behind the host's immune systems and how it generates protection against viral infection. In the longer term, Universal Vaccine may help to reduce or even eradicate influenza disease in humans. Creation of a successful novel mucosal vaccine will have a significant impact on the global market and secure the growth and development of the European vaccine industry.

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