Deadly flu viruses, including the H5N1 bird flu and H3N2 swine flu, may have met their match in FluGen's universal vaccine, REDEE FLU™. At the World Health Organization influenza vaccine meeting in Hong Kong last week, FluGen scientists presented compelling data demonstrating that the REDEE FLU™ vaccine protects against both influenza strains that it was designed to immunize against and those it was not, called matched and unmatched viruses, respectively. Vaccine mismatches are a frequent and recurring public health problem that can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of influenza vaccination programs and significantly impact public health. The FluGen data suggest that REDEE FLU™ could be the universal vaccine that dramatically improves the effectiveness of global vaccination initiatives and the world's population health.
Current influenza vaccines leave much to be desired, with efficacy rates in the United States reported at 59 percent in healthy individuals, but often lower in those over 65 and in children under two.
"At FluGen, our one and only focus is vaccine efficacy," said Paul Radspinner, FluGen's president and CEO. "If REDEE FLU™ continues to show the universal coverage it has demonstrated to date, it may be possible to take one dose every three to five years to protect against a wide variety of influenza strains and subtypes. Until REDEE FLU™'s broader protection is available individuals should continue to receive current vaccines."
Chief Scientific Officer Pamuk Bilsel, Ph.D., presented FluGen's preliminary data at the WHO influenza meeting, which was held Jan. 24-26 in Hong Kong. The meeting gathered global leaders in the field to review the current status of research in the area of new influenza vaccines, focusing on strategies like FluGen's that induce broadly protective and long-lasting immune responses.