Greffex develops comprehensive H7N9 vaccine
The H7N9 avian influenza virus is highly pathogenic, killing approximately 20 percent of the people it infects. The spread of the virus has been difficult to control in China because infected birds display no symptoms. Human-to-human transmission of the virus has been rare, though genetic changes in the strain could increase contagion and create a fast-moving pandemic.
Scientists at Greffex developed the H7N9 avian influenza vaccine using its proprietary GREVAX technology. While most vaccines take many months to develop, Greffex scientists developed the virus just one month after it was characterized.
"We believe the world needs a 'plug-and-play' method of creating vaccines," Uwe Staerz, the chief scientific officer of Greffex, said. "Speed as well as flexibility is needed for vaccine design to combat emerged infectious threats. We had already shown with an anthrax vaccine that we can create any vaccine within one month."
Greffex developed the GREVAX vaccine platform with help from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The system develops vaccine antigens using a plug-and-play design that can be applied to multiple emerging infectious diseases.
"We originally created the GREVAX system for H1N1 swine influenza and now have a dengue vaccine, an anthrax vaccine, an Ebola vaccine and avian influenza vaccines and we have overcome major production and manufacturing obstacles," John Price, the president and CEO of Greffex, said. "And we are working on a universal influenza vaccine the 'holy grail' of vaccine science."