BARDA offers additional support to Protein Sciences influenza vaccine program

The Connecticut-based vaccine and protein producer Protein Sciences recently announced that the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will continue to support its influenza vaccine program.

BARDA, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, held an internal review of the Protein Sciences program and has decided to modify its contract with the company. The changes apply to activities associated with scaling up production to meet the capacity metrics as stipulated in the contract, as well as expanding the age indication for the influenza vaccines Flublok and Panblok.

Flublok, a seasonal influenza vaccine, was recently given U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for use in adults between ages 18-49 years. Protein Sciences said that it expects to receive approval for the drug's use in those above age 50 in time for the 2013-2014 flu season.

Panblok, Flublok's sister vaccine, is currently under development to provide protection against pandemic influenza strains. The two are considered to be the world's first recombinant vaccines to prevent influenza infection. They are both produced egg-free and without the use of live influenza virus.

"We are pleased that BARDA has continued their commitment to support our influenza vaccine program," Protein Science Manon Cox said. "We could not have brought Flublok to market without their support, and their continued commitment will enable us to provide more doses of this important vaccine to more people in less time and to develop Panblok as an effective vaccine against pandemic influenza."