Vivaldi Biosciences Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIVs) against seasonal and pandemic influenza, today announced that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to generate and evaluate in preclinical studies LAIV candidates against influenza A(H7N9). The H7N9 strain is of concern due to its pandemic potential. Human cases of this avian-origin influenza strain were first recognized in early 2013.
Vivaldi's LAIV technology platform uses the biology of the influenza nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) to provide a new vaccine approach with the potential for superior efficacy and protection. NS1 is a multifunctional virulence factor of the influenza virus. Vivaldi uses proprietary reverse genetics and plasmid rescue technologies to modify the NS1 gene, generating replication-deficient LAIVs attenuated for safety and able to produce a potent, protective immune response.