Research Projects (Third party funds)
Efficacious vaccine formulation system for prophylactic control of influenza pandemics
Influenza epidemics remain a burden to both human health and national economies, as witnessed by the recent advance of pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza virus. While the numbers of human deaths in Europe have remained relatively low, the presence of such cases in Turkey demonstrates the danger posed by this virus. Now that H5N1 virus has been detected in wild birds in Europe, the PANFLUVAC consortium is committed to creating an efficacious vaccine against this virus, to provide strong protection in a pandemic situation.
The overall aim of PANFLUVAC is to construct vaccine delivery systems for intranasal and parenteral vaccines. New H5N1 vaccines are based on a current subunit vaccine construction – for immediate evaluation – as well as well-established virosome technology for future development within the project. Pre-clinical evaluation will also permit comparison of the new intranasal vaccines with whole virus vaccine. The vaccine potency will be enhanced by novel adjuvants – ISCOM, glycolipids and lipopeptide adjuvants biosafe for humans - known to promote the dendritic cell activity critical for efficient induction of immune defences. This approach offers both antigen sparing potential and immunopotentiation characteristics. biosafe for humans. With the ISCOM having been employed with experimental influenza vaccines, this will allow the new H5N1 vaccines to be fast-tracked in their development. Accordingly, PANFLUVAC will generate its first H5N1 vaccine for intranasal evaluation within the first 18 months of the project.
The PANFLUVAC project is also designed to facilitate rapid modification of the vaccine in the face of virus drift. Within the preclinical evaluation, the new vaccines will be tested for the degree of heterotypic cross protection they offer. PANFLUVAC offers a generic vaccine development system to provide safe and efficacious vaccines against influenza, fitting with the “Community Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response Planning".
Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis (IVI) FDEA/FVO: Federal Veterinary Office of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs
National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, (NIBSC)
Retroscreen Virology Ltd
University of Bergen, The Influenza Centre, The Gade Institute
Health Protection Agency, Respiratory & Neurological Virus Laboratory, Respiratory Unit HPA
Istituto Superiore di Sanitá (ISS), Department of Infectious, Immune-mediated and Parasitic Diseases
Helmholtz, Zentrum für infektionsforschung
SCIPROM Scientific Project Management
Federal Veterinary Office (CH)