The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently extended its contract with VaxInnate Corporation for the development of the VAX2012Q influenza vaccine.
The contract, which was originally drafted in February 2011, will now be extended through February 2016. It was revised after the government completed a review of VaxInnate’s development of VAX2012Q, a seasonal influenza vaccine candidate, as well as vaccines for pandemic influenza.
VaxInnate now can use the remaining $53 million left on the contract to move on to the next phase of testing for the vaccine candidates.
VAX2012Q uses four strains of influenza, each with a flagellin protein that fulfills the role of a toll-like receptor (TLR) ligand. TLR proteins provoke immune responses, lessening the chances of the subject contracting seasonal influenza.
In Phase 1 testing of VAX2012Q, the vaccine proved to be immunogenic. The testing included 316 adults between the ages of 18 and 40. Each subject received 2mcg doses of VAX2012Q. The subjects showed seroprotection rates past 90 percent 21 days after receiving the vaccination with the most common side effect being mild to moderate pain in the arm where the injection was administered.
For the next phase of testing, VaxInnate is seeking healthy adults between the ages of 65 and 75 to participate in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 1b/2 study of VAX2012Q.
"We are committed to identifying, wherever possible, non-dilutive financing to drive our development programs forward," Wayne Pisano, VaxInnate's president and chief executive officer, said. "We appreciate the continued support of BARDA and look forward to advancing our seasonal and pandemic influenza programs. That includes our planned Phase 2 study of VAX2012Q in individuals aged 18-64 starting in 2015, and our planned Phase 1 and 2 studies of our pandemic vaccine candidate."