Protect Against 

Influenza

 AAHI: 

  • Is developing an inhalable RNA vaccine candidate that targets both pandemic and seasonal influenza strains. 
  • Uses its squalene containing adjuvant formulations to support the development of influenza vaccine candidates that induce cross-strain protection.

Influenza is a nose, throat, and lung infection caused by a virus that can spread from animals to humans (avian and zoonotic strains) or from human to human. There are four strains of influenza - A, B, C, D.

 Influenza A has the largest pandemic potential, largely circulating in poultry and pigs, with the ability to jump to humans and sustain human to human circulation. Influenza A from poultry, including A(H5N1) and A(H7N9), are commonly transmitted to humans in live bird markets, where infected poultry is slaughtered, defeathered, and prepared for consumption. 

Pigs are also a known vector for influenza, for which two sub strains exist - A(H1) and A(H3), more commonly known as swine flu. 

Influenza A and B cause seasonal epedemics of disease, especially during the cold, winter months. The seasonal flu strains manifest in acute infection and are not dangerous, unless a person is considered at risk - the elderly population, people with chronic conditions or who are immunocompromised, pregnant women, and young children.

REST AND HYDRATE - A RECIPE FOR RECOVERY

Seasonal influenza is typically overcome with sleep and lots of water. Flu symptoms manifest several days after infection, such as fever, and can be treated independently to mitigate discomfort. 


Pandemic influenza should be immediately reported to public health officials and treated with antivirals. 

Vaccines are the most effective prevention and are updated annually to target the viral strain in circulation.

There are nine currently available flu vaccines approved by the FDA for different age groups, some of which are egg-based and therefore should not be taken by people with egg allergies.

  • Afluria
  • Fluad 
  • Fluarix 
  • Flublok (not egg-based)
  • Flucelvax (not egg-based)
  • FluLaval 
  • FluMist
  • Fluzone High-Dose
  • Fluzone (adjuvanted)

While influenza vaccines have been available for almost a century, today's seasonal influenza vaccines are at best only 60 percent effective and provide no protection against emerging pandemic strains. 

Therefore, good hygiene and regular hand washing are basic measures necessary to prevent infection. 

Seasonal influenza effects billions of people worldwide every year. While most people recover with rest and hydration, 290-650 thousand people die annually because of severe flu infections.

Pandemic influenza, on the other hand, has broken out four times since the largest outbreak in 1918, during World War I, known as the Spanish Influenza Pandemic. The pandemic lasted one year and resulted an estimated 25 million deaths, but many researchers estimated it caused as many as 40-50 million deaths. 

The subsequent influenza pandemics occurred in 1957 (H2N2 virus), 1968 (H2N2 virus), and 2009 (H1N1 virus).


Researchers are wary of the inevitable next influenza pandemic. Without knowledge of the future emerging strain, developing an effective vaccine is difficult. The development of a "universal" influenza vaccine that can provide such broad protection that it prevents infection from any viral variants is an aspirational milestone. 

AAHI scientists are applying its formulation and RNA vaccine platform technologies to develop vaccines that provide broadly protective seasonal and pandemic influenza, critical for preventing viral mutants that develop due to high transmissibility among humans. 

Two of AAHI's squalene containing adjuvant formulations, GLA-SE and 3M-052-SE, have proven to induce cross-strain immune responses when combined with various influenza proteins, for which no such protection is conferred from the currently licensed adjuvanted flu vaccine, Fluzone.  


AAHI's GLA-SE adjuvant formulation was combined with an H5N1 plant-derived virus-like particle and evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical trial sponsored by Medicago and conducted in Canada (NCT01991561). 


AAHI's 3M-052-SE adjuvant formulation was also combined with an H5N1 antigen and evaluated in a preclinical challenge model, in which researchers exposed animals to various influenza strains. When compared with other adjuvant formulations, the 3M-052-SE  containing influenza vaccine candidate outperformed other adjuvanted candidates. 

In the face of a pandemic, it is critical that vaccines are cost-effective and available to all 7+ billion people worldwide. Adjuvants allow less vaccine protein (antigen) to be used to achieve equivalent protection against disease. 


Researchers found that when an influenza A protein combined with AAHI's GLA-SE adjuvant formulation in a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating different doses of adjuvant, the immune response levels increased over 65%. The clinical trial was sponsored by Protein Sciences Corporation and conducted in the United States (NCT0161200). 

AAHI is developing an inhalable, multitargeted influenza RNA vaccine candidate through Phase 1 human clinical trials using its self-amplifying RNA platform to protect from both pandemic and seasonal viral strains - H5N1 and H7N9. 


An inhalable vaccine candidate may prevent early infection and transmission and enable self-administration, which could increase vaccine uptake and provide accessibility in resource-limited settings, such as our military overseas and developing countries. 


The work is supported by the U.S. Defense Department's Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).  

AAHI is developing an inhalable, dry powder (spray-dried) pandemic influenza vaccine candidate on its self-amplifying RNA platform that is temperature stable, eliminating the need for a deep cold chain. 


The work is supported by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). 

Latest News