Influenza vaccine landscape and development

vaccine congress influenza

Dr Wayne Pisano, CEO of VaxInnate, opened the morning session of the World Vaccine Congress & Expo USA 2013. He introduced the first speaker of the session on influenza vaccines, Dr Robin Huebner, BARDA, who presented on "Flu vaccine landscape overview". Dr Huebner spoke about he influenza vaccine landscape today and of the future, and gave a history of the influenza vaccine and how influenza vaccines looked in the US several years ago in 2004. He then spoke about the progress that has been made since 2004, including the move from egg-based production to cell-based, recombinant-based, and finally the next step of universal vaccine technology. He spoke about BARDA and their egg-based technology investments and preparedness contracts. He also spoke about contracts for cell-based influenza vaccines (e.g. Novartis' cell-based vaccine facility) and contracts for recombinant-based & molecular technology vaccines (e.g. Protein Sciences' Flublok). He spoke about more recombinant vaccines in the pipeline, and also about antigen sparing technology. He concluded by discussing what we want from vaccines in the future, including a licensed universal influenza vaccine, vaccine production year round, vaccines to cover pandemics, and perhaps the move to one flu vaccine that is effective for 10 years or even for a lifetime.

Dr Louis F. Fries, VP, Clinical & Medical Affairs at Novavax, gave a talk entitled "Clinical update on pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccine using Sf9-derived virus-like particles". Dr Fries discussed the development of a VLP influenza vaccine manufactured in the Sf9/baculovirus system, and spoke about the Sf9/baculovirus manufacturing platform and the ISCOMATRIX adjuvant. Dr Robert Lins, Senior Clinical Adviser, Clinical Research, SGS Belgium NV, gave a presentation on "Set up of Phase I unit for viral challenge testing in vaccine development".

Dr Eirikur Saeland, Senior Scientist at Crucell, spoke about "Universal protection against influenza: from antibodies to vaccines". He spoke about the desire for a vaccine that ideally induces broadly protective antibodies, but cited that the influenza virus is very unpredictable. He described several antibodies that protected against influenza – CR6261 and CR8020 that recognise A strains, CR8071 and CR8033 that recognise B strains, and CR9114 that recognises both A and B strains. He discussed studies that showed these antibodies to be protective against a variety of influenza strains. He explained that we now need to use identified epitopes to protect against lots of different strains of influenza. He concluded by discussing new vaccine design possibilities.

Were you at World Vaccine Congress USA 2013? Do you have any comments about Day Two's Influenza Vaccine presentations? You can leave a comment in the box below, or on LinkedIn group discussion.

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