|[June 26, 2013]
Vaxart Creates Effective Oral H7N9 Avian Influenza Vaccine in 20 Days
SAN FRANCISCO --(Business Wire)--
Vaxart, a privately held company developing recombinant vaccines that
are administered by tablet rather than injection, today announced
successful results for its candidate H7N9 avian influenza vaccine in
preclinical testing, where the Vaxart vaccine induced robust
anti-hemagglutinin (anti-HA) titers.
Since April 2013, when H7N9 appeared as a newly emergent influenza
subtype, the virus has caused 37 deaths in 132 identified cases,
according to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO). Notably,
Vaxart constructed and produced its H7N9 avian influenza vaccine in just
20 days following receipt of the gene sequence coding for the
hemagglutinin (HA) of the H7N9 avian influenza strain.
"This result confirms that the Vaxart platform is capable of generating
potent and immunogenic vaccines against newly emerging influenza strains
in record time," said Ciaran Scallan, Ph.D., Associate Director of
Research for Vaxart. "The ability to respond rapidly is paricularly
important when a new virus shows high morbidity and potential for
pandemic spread, as H7N9 does."
Vaxart developed its H7N9 avian influenza vaccine from the HA sequence
(ID EPI440095) downloaded from the GISAID EpifluTM Database.
Dr. Jun Li of the Hangzhou Center for Disease Control in Hangzhou,
China, submitted the original sequence.
"By constructing our vaccines recombinantly and manufacturing them in
high-yield production systems, we don't need the influenza virus itself
and can respond to emerging pathogens much faster than traditional
influenza vaccine manufacturers that rely on eggs for production," said
Vaxart CEO Wouter Latour, MD. "As icing on the cake, our
room-temperature stable vaccine tablets will greatly simplify and
accelerate distribution. In the event of a pandemic threat, vaccines
could even be distributed through the mail for self-administration at
Vaxart's preclinical H7N9 avian influenza vaccine results follow recent
positive results for safety and immunogenicity in the company's Phase I
clinical trials for H1N1 seasonal influenza and H5N1 avian influenza
Vaxart is a privately owned company developing oral recombinant vaccines
based on its proprietary delivery platform. The Vaxart platform is
suitable to deliver any protein vaccine antigen such as those used in
currently marketed influenza, hepatitis B and human papilloma virus
(HPV) blockbuster vaccines. Care Capital of Princeton is the lead
investor in the company and its largest shareholder. For more
information, please visit www.vaxart.com.
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