BiondVax’s universal flu vaccine matches all 6 potentially pandemic flu strains in the world today: H5N1, H5N8, H6N1, H7N7, H7N9 and H10N8
Nes Ziona, Israel – 21st January 2014 – BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TASE: BNDX) that is developing a universal flu vaccine announced today that the Company has completed a series of biological and other tests, comparing the vaccine elements and the elements contained in ‘new’ influenza strains. The testing showed that the universal vaccine is suited to these new strains found in recent years in humans.
Until lately, the strains H5N8, H6N1, H7N7, H7N9 and H10N8 infected only birds and hence, were not considered dangerous for human. However, all of them have now managed to infect humans and some are deadly. For example, between 2003 and 2013, the bird flu H5N1 has infected 648 humans and of these, 384 have died. Similarly, H7N9 virus was identified in China and since March 2013 has caused the death of 33% of those who were infected.
According to the Company’s ongoing investigations, the small pieces contained in BiondVax’s universal flu vaccine are a good match for all of these new strains. BiondVax’s vaccine was designed to contain small pieces of the flu virus that do not change as they are required for the virus’s life cycle. These small pieces are enough to teach the human immune system to recognize all flu strains, so that the body quickly stops the virus from causing illness. Based on these findings, BiondVax anticipates that the universal vaccine, when the development stage is completed, will be broadly effective against present and future strains in contrast to current vaccines that are strain specific.
Dr Ben-Yedidia, BiondVax’s Chief Scientist, says “These data are exciting and support the universality of BiondVax’s vaccine against strains emerging in the world, seasonal or pandemic. Today as people are constantly travelling, there are no natural borders that stop diseases from spreading across the globe. We need a new kind of flu vaccine that works against all flu strains and BiondVax has the solution in hand”.
About BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd
BiondVax is a publicly traded (TASE: BNDX), advanced clinical stage biotech company dedicated to improving global protection against influenza, with its lead product a universal influenza (flu) vaccine called M-001.Influenza (flu) is the most common infectious disease, caused by countless flu strains as the virus mutates unpredictably and frequently. Current seasonal and pandemic/pre-pandemic flu vaccines rely predominantly on triggering immunity to variable viral regions and accordingly are strain-specific. The vaccines are manufactured based on global surveillance each season or to prepare for a predicted pandemic threat and are often mismatched to the emerging flu strains. Therefore there is an urgent need for broadly protective flu vaccines especially in the case of pandemics and this is being addressed by BiondVax.
At this point in time, BiondVax’s universal flu vaccine (M-001) has several unique competitive advantages: the universal flu vaccine at the most advanced stage of clinical development (4 clinical trials with 440 people); an excellent safety profile; triggers both arms of our immune defenses, cellular and humoral (antibodies); active without the need for an adjuvant; easily, quickly and cheaply manufactured in only 6-8 weeks (conventional flu vaccines take 6-8 months); can be produced year-round and stockpiled as its composition does not change; and finally, M-001 has two indications, as a universal flu vaccine and as an enhancer of conventional strain-specific seasonal/pandemic flu vaccines. Of note, this second indication provides a shorter and cost-effective pathway for clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization of M-001 and provides a new approach to pandemic preparedness AHEAD of flu outbreak.
Financial PR Manager
Gelbart-Kahana Investor Relations