Combinatorial immunization strategy to educate the immune system towards cross recognition and coverage against antigenic drift in seasonal influenza virus exposure

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details


    As current influenza vaccines only afford limited protection against seasonal as well as pandemic influenza, and require regular updating, the development of a “universal” influenza vaccine that can provide broad coverage against different strains within a subtype or even across subtypes has become a key health care priority in both industrialized and low and middle income countries. EDUFLUVAC aims to develop an influenza vaccine that educates the immune system to recognise common influenza epitopes, using a combination of influenza haemagglutinin (HA) antigens delivered on a single virus-like particle. This vaccine concept, using the proven, modern technology of baculovirus VLPs will enable enhanced cross linking of B-cell receptors and favour induction of B-cell responses against common epitopes essential for long-lasting cross recognition and protection. The mechanism underlying the broadening of antibody responses is the increased relative concentration of common epitopes diluting out strain specific epitopes. This will be achieved by testing the ability of a combination of historic HA variants to protect against a variety of modern isolates. A similar approach for developing a novel vaccine for pandemic use will be tested. The knowledge generated will provide Proof of Principle in relevant animal models for an influenza vaccine that does not have to be updated annually, does not have to be manufactured on an annual basis and will not require an annual vaccination campaign. It will also provide for an economically viable large scale production platform for influenza vaccine which, in the event of a pandemic, can manufacture rapidly high quantities of vaccine. All industrial partners (including two SMEs) will benefit from the compilation of the regulatory dossier for transfer to larger vaccine companies and the deeper knowledge integration emanating from EDUFLUVAC in a $2.8 billion global annual influenza vaccine market.
    Effective start/end date1/11/1331/10/17