FluGen Inc., announced today that it has been awarded a grant of $14.4 million through the DOD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program’s (PRMRP) mechanism to conduct clinical challenge-studies against mismatched influenza strains with its lead universal flu vaccine, RedeeFlu™.
Under the three-year award, FluGen will conduct two challenge-studies with RedeeFlu™. In these studies, half of the participants will be vaccinated and half will receive a placebo but all will subsequently be infected with an influenza virus. The goal of these studies is to show that, unlike currently available vaccines in the United States, RedeeFlu™ can protect against infection in a mismatched vaccine-flu virus combination. In addition, the award will be used to look for correlates of immunity or biological markers that demonstrate that RedeeFlu™ vaccine will work in a given population.
“This study seeks to identify whether RedeeFlu™ is capable of solving one of the biggest problems current influenza vaccines have- the inability to protect against new influenza strains,” said Dr. Robert Belshe, FluGen’s Clinical Advisory Board Chairman. “We are always vaccinating against last years epidemic influenza viruses. If this vaccine can protect against a shifted or drifted influenza strain, it would be an important advance in the protection against influenza.”
The PRMRP under which this research was awarded originated in 1999 and invests in groundbreaking research that seeks to transform healthcare for Service members, Veterans, and the general public. FluGen was one of only two applicants in the influenza clinical sector that received such an award in this fiscal year. The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity is the awarding and administering acquisition office and this work was supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs through the PRMRP under Award No. W81XWH-17-1-0430.