NIH to undertake first in-human trial of universal influenza vaccine


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, is launching the first in-human trial of a universal influenza vaccine candidate.

NIH Headquarters in Bethesda, Md. Copyright National Institutes of Health

NIH Headquarters in Bethesda, Md.

The experimental vaccine, H1ssF_3928, is derived from the stem of an H1N1 virus and has a surface made from hemagglutinin and ferritin. By including only the stem of the virus, which changes less than the head, the vaccine should require fewer updates. A similar vaccine made from the same materials was shown to be safe and well tolerated in humans.

The clinical trial (NCT03814720) will be conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., and will gradually enroll at least 53 healthy adults aged 18-70 years. The first 5 participants will receive one 20-mcg intramuscular injection of the vaccine; the other 48 participants will receive two 60-mcg vaccinations 16 weeks apart. Patients will return for 9-11 follow-ups over a 12- to 15-month period, and will provide blood samples for analysis of anti-influenza antibodies.

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“Seasonal influenza is a perpetual public health challenge, and we continually face the possibility of an influenza pandemic resulting from the emergence and spread of novel influenza viruses. This phase 1 clinical trial is a step forward in our efforts to develop a durable and broadly protective universal influenza vaccine,” Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in the press release.

Find the full press release on the NIH website.

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