VaxInnate's contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has been extended to include the creation of two new influenza vaccines through the clinical trial process, they announced Thursday.
According to a report by FierceVaccines, the extended contract enables an additional $53 million of funding to further the company's development of both the seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine programs.
"We are committed to identifying, wherever possible, nondilutive financing to drive our development programs forward," VaxInnate CEO Wayne Pisano said. "We appreciate the continued support of BARDA and look forward to advancing our seasonal and pandemic influenza programs."
As a result of the increased BARDA support, one of the vaccine candidates will enter into the second phase of trials. Predictions are that the study will be seeking test subjects, from 18 to 64 years of age, by the middle of the year.
The company makes use of the recombination of proteins rather than the traditional method of utilizing eggs to create vaccines. According to Pisano, this significantly speeds up production. Using this method, the company can produce vaccinations in bulk within 12 weeks, while other production methods require five to six months. This is a major benefit to organizations and agencies like BARDA, as well as to consumers.
"We could have created a monovalent H3N2 that matched the strain that's circulating, and that vaccine could have been delivered in the October-November timeframe," Pisano said. "It could have been used to immunize people at the greatest risk -- like a booster shot for the seasonal vaccine. We have the ability to go back in at a very late point in the season and still get a dose out."