Vaxart Enters into Research Collaboration with Janssen to Evaluate Oral Universal Influenza Vaccine
- Category: Vaccines
- Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2019 20:05
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Oral Universal Flu Vaccine Candidate to be Evaluated in Pre-Clinical Challenge Model
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA I July 09, 2019 I Vaxart, Inc., (Vaxart), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing oral recombinant vaccines that are administered by tablet rather than by injection, today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. (Janssen) to evaluate Vaxart’s proprietary oral vaccine platform for the Janssen universal influenza vaccine program.
Under the agreement Vaxart will produce an oral vaccine containing certain proprietary antigens from Janssen, and test the product in a pre-clinical challenge model. Upon completion of the study Janssen will have an exclusive option to negotiate an exclusive worldwide license to the Vaxart technology encompassing the Janssen antigens.
“Development of a universal flu vaccine is a high priority public health objective and we are delighted to be working with Janssen in this important field,” said Wouter Latour, M.D., chief executive officer of Vaxart. “As reported previously, Vaxart’s oral H1 seasonal influenza vaccine appears to protect primarily through mucosal immunity, the first line of defense against respiratory infections like flu and a potential key feature of a universal flu vaccine. In addition, we have the benefit of a convenient room temperature-stable tablet which may improve vaccination rates.”
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times, can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. While the impact of flu varies, it places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 60.8 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually since 2010. For further information on influenza, its burden on human health and vaccine development, please visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu/.
Vaxart is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing oral recombinant protein vaccines based on its proprietary oral vaccine platform. Vaxart’s vaccines are designed to generate broad and durable immune responses that protect against a wide range of infectious diseases and may also be useful for the treatment of chronic viral infections and cancer. Vaxart’s vaccines are administered using a convenient room temperature-stable tablet, rather than by injection. Vaxart believes that tablet vaccines are easier to distribute and administer than injectable vaccines and have the potential to significantly increase vaccination rates. Vaxart’s development programs include oral tablet vaccines that are designed to protect against norovirus, seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as a therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV).