First influenza vaccine brought to clinical testing

May 17, 2013
A*STAR and Cytos bring Singapore's first influenza vaccine to clinical testing
VLPs resemble viruses; they mimic the structure of real viruses but are non-infectious because they do not contain any viral genetic material, hence safe to be injected into humans. Credit: Cytos Biotechnology AG

Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Switzerland's Cytos Biotechnology AG today announced that the first healthy volunteer has been dosed in a Phase 1 clinical trial with their H1N1 influenza vaccine candidate based on Cytos' proprietary bacteriophage Qbeta virus-like particle (VLP) technology. In this first Phase 1 clinical trial, the safety and immunogenicity of this novel vaccine candidate and its potential to protect against H1N1 influenza infection will be evaluated.

A*STAR is developing the under a collaborative research, development and commercialization agreement entered into with Cytos in 2010, with the goal of providing the government of Singapore an effective means of combatting and pandemics. Under the agreement, Cytos retains the worldwide right to develop and commercialize the vaccine candidate globally, while A*STAR subsidiaries will have the right to develop and commercialize the vaccine for Singapore and other ASEAN countries and can earn royalties on worldwide net sales.

Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR and Co-Chair of the Biomedical Sciences Executive Committee in Singapore said, "This is the first time Singapore is attempting to make its own . In the wake of the recent H7N9 , it is timely that A*STAR is bringing Singapore's first H1N1 flu vaccine into Phase 1 clinical trial. This different approach of making flu vaccines will better respond to the needs of a flu outbreak. I am pleased that the collaboration with Cytos is making a meaningful contribution to Singapore's pandemic readiness, a critical aspect of our national security. The success of this potential vaccine will be of significant impact not only to the region but also the world."

Christian Itin, PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cytos, commented, "We are very pleased with the fruitful collaboration which has led to the clinical start of this novel . This is an important milestone for the program and the first clinical program using Cytos' B-cell vaccine platform for a prophylactic vaccine against an infectious disease."

Professor Alex Matter, Chief Executive Officer of D3 (Drug Discovery and Development) and A*STAR's Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC) said, "If this VLP-vaccine strategy proves to be effective, it can accelerate the production of vaccines against new emerging strains of flu. This will greatly aid Singapore's preparedness to produce vaccines quickly, safely and economically in the event of a flu epidemic. This could potentially open doors for faster production of vaccines to a range of viral diseases as well."

A*STAR's Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC) was the primary driver of the multi-institutional effort culminating in the start of the clinical development program, which involved academic and clinical partners across Singapore, namely A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), DSO National Laboratories and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. Since early 2012, D3, which works hand in hand with Cytos and other local entities, has been leading the development of the H1N1 influenza vaccine project aiming to achieve proof-of-concept in humans. This Phase 1 clinical trial is being conducted at the SingHealth Investigational Medicine Unit and the Changi General Hospital Trials and Research unit in Singapore.

Explore further: Researchers develop universal flu vaccine: New technology could become available to consumers within a decade

Related Stories

Researchers develop universal flu vaccine: New technology could become available to consumers within a decade

April 3, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Flu is unpredictable. Influenza viruses are constantly changing—from one season to the next or even within the course of a flu season—making vaccine development difficult.

Bird flu expert working on vaccine that protects against multiple strains

May 10, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—As the bird flu outbreak in China worsens, a Purdue University expert is working on vaccines that offer broader protection against multiple strains of the virus.

Study suggests potential hurdle to universal flu vaccine development may be overcome

August 15, 2012
In the quest for a universal influenza vaccine—one that elicits broadly neutralizing antibodies that can protect against most or all strains of flu virus—scientists have faced a sobering question: Does pre-existing ...

FDA approves flu vaccine for coming season

August 14, 2012
(HealthDay) -- The formulation for the vaccine that will help protect against the flu this coming season was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

H1N1 discovery paves way for universal flu vaccine: research

May 8, 2012
University of British Columbia researchers have found a potential way to develop universal flu vaccines and eliminate the need for seasonal flu vaccinations.

Flu data used to determine vaccine effectiveness

January 14, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Armed with data on vaccine effectiveness from five study monitoring sites, including one at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control is renewing the call for everyone ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

At-risk chronic pain patients taper opioids successfully with psychological tools

June 28, 2017
Psychological support and new coping skills are helping patients at high risk of developing chronic pain and long-term, high-dose opioid use taper their opioids and rebuild their lives with activities that are meaningful ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tjcoop3
not rated yet May 20, 2013
Well that's a new one. A clinical trial for a flu vaccine. We shall see whether flu vaccines are really effective or not. Of course if the volunteer is not actually exposed, which would be unethical, it will be anyone's guess whether the vaccine actually prevented anything.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.