A Phase 1 trial has begun for a new investigational universal influenza vaccine candidate, FluMos-v2, at the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center in Bethesda. Sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the trial will evaluate the vaccine’s safety and immune response potential. FluMos-v2 aims to offer broader immunity against six strains of influenza viruses.
Currently, available seasonal influenza vaccines are effective at preventing specific strains of influenza. However, a universal influenza vaccine that provides protection against multiple strains of the virus is desirable. The goal of FluMos-v2 is to develop an ideal universal influenza vaccine that can be taken less frequently than once a year and protect against many more strains of influenza.
FluMos-v2 was designed by researchers at NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC). It is an adaptation of an earlier universal flu vaccine candidate, FluMos-v1. The vaccine candidate displays part of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein in repeating patterns on self-assembling nanoparticle scaffolds. When tested in animals, FluMos-v2 induced robust antibody responses. It displays HA from six strains of influenza virus, providing broader immunity against a wider variety of influenza viruses.
The Phase 1 trial of FluMos-v2 is expected to enroll 24 healthy volunteers aged 18-50 years. Participants will receive two intramuscular injections of the vaccine candidate 16 weeks apart. The trial will monitor participants’ responses to the vaccine through regular follow-up phone calls, examinations, and blood samples to measure immune responses.
This trial is an important step toward the development of a universal influenza vaccine that can provide broader protection against multiple strains of the virus. With each new candidate and clinical trial, researchers are getting closer to achieving this goal.
Sources: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases