The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has officially initiated Phase 1 of clinical testing for a groundbreaking universal flu vaccine candidate, according to their announcement. This clinical trial, supported by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), aims to assess the safety and its capacity to trigger an immune response of the investigational vaccine, known as FluMos-v2, as reported by Xinhua news agency.
The vaccine candidate was crafted by scientists at NIAID’s Vaccine Research Centre with the aim of stimulating the production of antibodies against a wide array of influenza virus strains. This is achieved by presenting segments of the influenza virus hemagglutinin protein in repetitive configurations on self-assembling nanoparticle scaffolds. This exposure to harmless viral protein fragments readies the immune system to identify and combat the real virus when encountered.
The experimental vaccine yielded strong antibody reactions
In animal trials, the experimental vaccine yielded strong antibody reactions, as reported by the NIH on Friday.
The upcoming clinical trial plans to enlist 24 healthy volunteers, ranging in age from 18 to 50 years. Each volunteer will undergo two intramuscular injections of the FluMos-v2 vaccine candidate, administered at a 16-week interval between doses.
Over a span of 40 weeks following their initial vaccination, participants will undergo routine follow-up phone calls and examinations to monitor how they respond to the experimental vaccine.
While the majority of seasonal flu vaccines are formulated to instruct the immune system in safeguarding against three or four prevalent flu strains, the NIH suggests that a “universal” influenza vaccine could potentially offer protection against a much broader spectrum of strains in the future.
NIAID engages in and provides backing for research efforts, both at the NIH, across the United States, and globally, to investigate the origins of infectious and immune-related diseases, and to enhance methods for preventing, diagnosing, and treating these ailments. For additional information, such as news releases, fact sheets, and other resources related to NIAID, you can access the official NIAID website.