Biondvax Pharmaceuticals, based in central Israel in Ness Ziona, has won the prestigious Frost & Sullivan 2010 European Influenza Vaccines Technology Innovation Award for its breakthrough work on a universal influenza vaccine.
The Multimeric-001 vaccine is designed to provide multi-season and multi-strain protection against most influenza virus strains, including both seasonal and pandemic strains, and has the potential to eliminate the need for annual flu vaccination.
In recent years, with the appearance of new, global pandemics, influenza has emerged as a serious disease, affecting the lives of millions of people.
The BiondVax vaccine can activate the immune system against new or existing influenza viral strains; it can offer cross-strain protection against all seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses, such as Swine flu and Avian flu; and is resistant to mutations of the influenza virus. In addition, its manufacture process takes only six to eight weeks, where current technologies take four to six months, and unlike current influenza vaccines, BiondVax’s vaccine would not need to be administered every year, and would require booster doses only once in three to five years, thus conferring long-term protection.
Pre-clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy of the vaccine, and BiondVax has recently concluded two Phase I/II clinical trials, in which the vaccine demonstrated both safety and immunogenicity in both younger and older adults.
The company is currently preparing to commence its first Phase II clinical trial, expected to be completed by mid-2011.