Inovio Pharmaceuticals has declared that Inovio’s synthetic vaccine approach using a collection of synthetic DNA antigens generated broad protective antibody responses against all major deadly strains of H1 influenza viruses from the most recent 100 years including the virus that caused in multiple animal models “Spanish Flu” occurred in 1918 including in mice, guinea pigs, and non-human primates.
The flu vaccine also bears 100% protection against lethal challenge in the gold standard ferret model, showing the functionality of such broad protective immune responses.
Preclinical flu vaccine study outcomes were detailed in a paper published in the journal Vaccine entitled, by Inovio researchers and its collaborators “Broad cross-protective anti-hemagglutination responses elicited by influenza micro-consensus DNA vaccine”.
A broadly protective flu vaccine would be of great value given how quickly a pandemic strain could emerge. “As in 1918, pandemic viruses and influenza virus appears with a small caution in 2018. As proved by this current and flu season, influenza viruses can rapidly acquire mutations that evade our latest vaccine formulations. An all-inclusive, broadly protective influenza vaccine for seasonal epidemics, an objective of intense research efforts would improve our preparedness for consequent pandemics.”
Dr. Laurent Humeau, Inovio’s Sr. VP, Research, and Development, stated, “Supported by a grant from the NIH, this published work exhibits that Inovio’s ASPIRE (Antigen-Specific Immune Responses) technology platform could produce a universal flu vaccine that can span seasonal vaccine changes considering proceeded with immune protection. We are proud to forward Inovio technology and contribute to first cutting-edge technology for the important global health treats. These examinations also showcase the most recent CELLECTRA intradermal (skin) delivery system to facilitate optimal antigen production and generation of superior immune responses in animal models.”
Globally influenza remains a vital pathogen adding to significant deaths and disease every year. The CDC estimates that 56,000 Americans died from influenza-associated deaths in the United States during 2012-2013 flu season.
Even with the seasonal flu vaccines generating $3.8 billion in worldwide revenue (WHO estimate), the currently approved seasonal influenza vaccines provide protection against only the three or four strains included into their particular formulations and are therefore incapable of addressing the inevitable and frequent shift and drift of influenza viral strains that can happen from season to season.
Researchers have long been looking for an influenza vaccine intended to be broadly protective against multiple, unmatched influenza virus strains.
In this published study, Inovio report on a synthetic micro-consensus approach that depends on a small collection of 4 synthetic H1HA DNA antigens which delivered in a single dosage produced broadly protective antibody immune responses against several major deadly strains of H1N1 viruses from the most recent 100 years including the strain that caused the 1918 Spanish Flu (which killed more than 40 million individuals) in mice, guinea pigs and non-human primates.
The vaccine also protected 100% of immunized ferrets from a lethal virus challenge. These outcomes are encouraging that a limited easy to- formulate a collection of micro-consensus antigens can be developed which can span seasonal vaccine changes allowing for continued immune protection.
These protective immune responses were generated using Inovio’s skin delivery system for vaccines. Maybe above all, this novel strategy could also be used to develop broadly protective vaccines against other infectious agents like dengue, RSV, and HIV.