H7N9 vaccines in development–where are we?

New Drug Approvals

influenza h7n9 vaccine development (Photo Credit: CDC/Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Thomas Rowe)

Since early 2013, the newly emergent H7N9 avian influenza virus has been infecting humans in China, leading to the temporary closure of numerous poultry markets in a bid to control the outbreak. In recent weeks, the rate at which new cases are reported has been declining – but some experts are asking whether this is just the calm before the storm. The development of a vaccine against the virus is therefore still of great interest – but where are we with vaccine development?

Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced on July 8th that in a preclinical study of its influenza DNA vaccine, 100% of the vaccinated animals were protected against sickness and death when challenged with a lethal dose of A/Anhui/1/13 strain of H7N9 virus. On the same day, Novavax made an announcement that enrolment had begun for a Phase I clinical trial of its monovalent virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate –…

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