Canadian-based vaccine experts VBI have teamed up with Aston University to develop broadly reactive and needle-free delivery of vaccines for human healthcare improvements. The four-year Co-operative Award in Science and Engineering will assist in developing two novel vaccine technologies that can induce broader protection than current vaccines avoiding the use of needles for administration.
Needle-free vaccines are more cost effective, avoid needle stick injuries and large-scale disposal of biohazardous needles, and avoid the need for trained personnel. A vaccine that can induce a broader degree of protection than current vaccine technologies is essential to protect against infections such HIV and HCV, and could lead to an influenza vaccine that confers multi-season protection.
VBI will design a synthetic (peptide-based) vaccine against influenza with the aim of developing a vaccine that protects against current and future strains of influenza. Aston will investigate the formulation and application of drug delivery systems to enhance the potency of this vaccine, and provide a needle-free means of vaccination. All of the formulation work anticipates the ability to avoid the need for cold-chain distribution, making such vaccines particularly well-suited for distribution throughout the developing world.
Dr David E. Anderson, Vice President for Immunology, VBI said: 'This collaboration will be of great benefit to VBI in facilitating the translation of novel internal research into vaccine formulations ready for clinical testing that address significant unmet needs.'
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Words by Paul Burkwood