July 14, 2022
NIH Trial Underway for Universal Flu Vaccine
Last month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency that includes 27 Institutes and Centers, announced a new Phase 1 clinical trial of a potential universal flu vaccine at its NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The placebo-controlled trial of up to 100 people aged 18 to 55 will test the safety of candidate vaccine, BPL-1357, provide insight into the importance of mucosal immunity against flu, and gauge the potential for a combined cellular and antibody approach to vaccines for broader protection against the ever-changing influenza virus. The study will last approximately seven months and will attempt to induce a comprehensive immune response that closely mimics immunity gained following a natural influenza infection—different from nearly all other influenza vaccines which focus on inducing immunity to a single viral antigen.