Influenza virus is a highly infectious respiratory pathogen that results in severe morbidity and mortality. Each year, influenza A and B cause outbreaks responsible for substantial hospitalization and death, particularly in high risk groups, such as elderly, infants and immunocompromised individuals.
Protection against the influenza virus is primarily mediated by antibodies against the viral hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). For this reason, current vaccines mainly focus on HA. Annual influenza epidemics and pandemics are a result of antigenic changes in HA and NA molecules, known as antigenic shift (seasonal influenza) and antigenic drift (pandemic influenza) which can result in ineffective vaccines.
Furthermore, the currently available vaccine formulations are made from virus grown in allantoic fluid from infected hen eggs that is then chemically inactivated and split into subunit components. This production process faces challenges regarding time and cost-effectiveness, especially in the case of a pandemic influenza.
Redbiotec's designer VLPs contain all relevant proteins for immunization (HA, NA, M2, M1) from the respective WHO recommended strains (nature-like) or a mixture of these strains (chimeric), including the highly conserved M2 protein to elicit a more universal immune response. In addition, Redbiotec’s technology allows for fast and cost-efficient production of the vaccine.