The vaccines will utilize the company’s technology in a bid to protect against pandemic influenza.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded a multi-year, $34.95 million contract to Seqirus to developed 2 influenza A(H2Nx) vaccines in a Phase I clinical trial.1 The contract is intended to provide rapid vaccine manufacturing capabilities in the event of an influenza pandemic.
Under the contract, Seqirus will evaluate the safety, immunogenicity, and dose-sparing of 2 vaccine candidates. The first candidate will use both cell-based and adjuvanted technology, which builds on Seqirus’s combination platform technology. This technology was first used in the company’s influenza A(H5N1) monovalent vaccine, adjuvanted (Audenz), the first-ever adjuvanted, cell-based influenza vaccine. The other vaccine candidate will use a self-amplifying mRNA platform, which appears efficacious in preclinical research.
No strains of influenza A(H2Nx) are currently circulating in humans; however, strains can be found in birds. An H2Nx strain was responsible for a 1957 influenza pandemic, resulting in an estimated 1.1 million deaths globally. Current population immunity is not sufficient to prevent epidemic spread of H2 viruses, and current influenza vaccine stock does not provide protection against H2Nx stains.
Marc Lacey, Executive Director, Pandemic Response Solutions, Seqirus, shared why this contract was important for public health. “As a global leader in pandemic influenza preparedness, Seqirus understands the vital role of global partnerships in preparing for the unpredictable, ever-present threat of pandemic influenza, which, according to the World Health Organization, is a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if,’” Lacey said.
“Seqirus is uniquely positioned to use our pandemic influenza vaccine expertise, flexible platform technologies and innovative research capabilities to reliably meet the needs of the United States government in such a critical capacity,” he added. “We are proud to be a trusted partner in support of BARDA’s pandemic preparedness objectives.”
1. Seqirus awarded US government contract to develop two pandemic influenza vaccines. News Release. Seqirus. October 4, 2022. Accessed October 11, 2022. https://www.seqirus.com/news/seqirus-awarded-us-government-contract-for-two-influenza-vaccines