Inovio shows success with H1N1 universal flu vaccine

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recently announced that its universal H1N1 influenza vaccine, known as SynCon, generated protection against some of the most prevalent strains of the illness from the last 100 years.

Inovio said that the vaccine's ability to generate HAI titers against multiple unmatched strains during phase I clinical trials was an important step toward the company's ultimate goal of developing a universal vaccine to protect against known and newly emerging strains of influenza, according to

"With respect to influenza, our ultimate objective is to develop a universal vaccine capable of providing years of true preemptive protection across subtypes and strains," Inovio President and CEO Dr. J. Joseph Kim said, reports.

The SynCon approach incorporates sequence information from multiple divergent strains, which means that vaccine cannot be matched exactly to any of the historical flu strains but was shown to be capable of offering protection against many of them, including the 1918 Spanish flu, as well as all of the H1N1 strains that have been part of the seasonal trivalent vaccine since 1986.

The phase I study is ongoing and Inovio expects to have results from a higher dose group in 2013. The company is also conducting optimization studies in animal models to strengthen the vaccine's potency against all strains, including those that are currently circulating.

"These results are an important addition to our previously reported H5N1 phase I data and a validating achievement on our ongoing effort to develop a safe vaccine that provides immunity against the ever-changing influenza virus," Kim said, according to