Researchers say the vaccine could be effective against multiple strains of the virus for several years.
The Duke Early Phase Clinical Research (DEPRU) recently completed the first study cohort for a broad-spectrum investigational influenza vaccine that has the potential to be effective against multiple strains of the virus for five or more years at a time.
Thirty-seven adult study volunteers, 22 of whom were confined in the unit simultaneously for approximately one week, will be followed for 15 months after immunization as part of the multi-center, randomized, observer-blind phase I safety and immunogenicity study. The volunteers are part of a larger group of up to 55 volunteers spread across two clinical sites at the DEPRU and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The study is sponsored by the international nonprofit PATH, and the investigational vaccine was developed through a partnership between the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) and PATH, the study’s sponsor.
“There are several reasons why you get an influenza vaccine every year,” said Chip Walter, MD, Duke Clinical Vaccine Unit director and co-investigator on the study. “One is that strains change from year to year and the protection isn’t durable. I think this is a step toward finding a vaccine that is broadly cross-protective. If the technology is successful, the vaccine will protect against seasonal influenza strains and pandemic influenza strains that jump species from animals to humans.”