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Intravacc and Versatope to develop universal influenza vaccine based on OMV technology

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza vaccines were overall 29 per cent effective during the 2018–2019 influenza season due to the emergence of new, late season viral strains

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Intravacc, one of the leading translational research and development vaccine institutes with an extensive track record in developing viral and bacterial vaccines and Versatope, a US biotechnology company developing vaccines and therapeutics, announced that they have signed a research service agreement to further develop a universal vaccine against influenza based on Intravacc’s innovative Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMV) technology. Both parties will collaborate to further advance the candidate vaccine through clinical development.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccines were overall 29 per cent effective during the 2018–2019 influenza season due to the emergence of new, late season viral strains, resulting in 42.9 million illnesses, more than 16.5 million medical visits, 647,000 hospitalizations, and 61,200 deaths in the United States. Therefore, globally there is a high medical and cost saving need for finding a more universal influenza vaccine.

Intravacc’s unique expertise in OMV vaccine technology, which is proven to be safe in humans, will push the project forward to achieve this goal of finding the world’s first universal flu vaccine.

Dr Jan Groen, CEO of Intravacc, said, “We are very happy to partner with Versatope and to be able to further expand the global reach of our OMV technology. This partnership is dedicated to finding in a much needed universal flu vaccine.”

Under the agreement, Intravacc will provide its services to Versatope in bringing their universal influenza vaccine candidate, VT-105, towards their first clinical trials. Versatope’s approach combines diverse genetic variants of influenza strains on a single nano-sized OMV that may provide better cross-strain protection than influenza vaccines comprised of individual strains.

“The alliance between Versatope and Intravacc will advance the VT-105 universal influenza vaccine candidate to the clinic in a rigorous and regulatory-compliant manner and help mitigate the risks associated with the chemistry, manufacturing and control process,” commented Dr Christopher Locher, CEO of Versatope.

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