Data on universal flu vaccine presented

The London-based SEEK, a privately owned and funded pharmaceutical company, has presented data on the successful conclusion of Phase I safety and tolerability studies for its universal influenza vaccine, FLU-v.

The results, reported at the World Influenza Congress in Amsterdam, demonstrated that the vaccine has no recognizable safety problems. Consistent with preclinical studies, FLU-v testing also showed clear signs of immunogenicity.

SEEK used a novel predictive technique to successfully identify small proteins, which can be synthetically manufactured to which the immune system will react, in the regions of the influenza virus that have not changed in the last 60 years.

FLU-v is the first in a new type of T-cell vaccines that are expected to be effective against the highly-mutagenic influenza virus. It was designed to be used in a single dose and to be effective against all strains of influenza, including the pandemic strains.

“Importantly, the data is consistent with the immune response seen in other species - that showed protection against many strains of flu - and we therefore eagerly await the data from the Phase II study, which will provide information on safety, efficacy and cross-protection against a number of strains of flu,” Gregory Stoloff, SEEK’s CEO, said.

A Phase II study to scrutinize the safety, tolerability and efficacy of FLU-v in an influenza challenge has also been finished, but results for it will not be ready until early 2011.