Monday, October 18th, 2021

Pfizer has begun testing an mRNA flu vaccine

Pfizer Inc. reported on September 28, 2021 that the first group of patients in a Phase 1 clinical trial had been dosed with the single dose quadrivalent mRNA vaccine.

Highlights

The single dose quadrivalent mRNA vaccine’s safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity against influenza in healthy individuals will be investigated in this phase 1 experiment.

Pfizer’s mRNA influenza vaccine is the first of a projected wave of influenza vaccines based on mRNA technology.

Pfizer also intends to investigate mRNA in additional respiratory viruses as well as medically suitable vaccine combinations that could provide virus protection. The company also intends to expand its mRNA technology research in oncology and hereditary illnesses.

Background

Pfizer has been researching on a potential mRNA influenza vaccine since 2018. This is based on a thorough understanding of infectious illnesses and a wealth of expertise studying, developing, and deploying innovative vaccination technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided the organisation with a huge scientific opportunity in terms of mRNA.

How  are traditional seasonal influenza vaccinations created?

The virus is commonly grown in chicken eggs or mammalian cells for traditional seasonal influenza vaccinations. These viruses are used in their inactivated state and processed into vaccines. Producing immunogenic antigens, modifying vaccine antigens, and keeping up with viral strain changes are all issues that this technique faces. The influenza strains that are now circulating mutate on a regular basis. As a result, global health professionals face a significant problem in predicting the optimum match for next season’s vaccination.

Influenza vaccination based on mRNA

The genetic sequence of the virus is used to generate an mRNA-based influenza vaccine. This method is adaptable, allowing for better strain matching, increased supply reliability, and the potential to improve the efficacy of current flu vaccinations.

According to a commercial statement and a government website listing the research, the early stage study will recruit around 600 Americans aged 65 to 85.

Pfizer intends to compare the safety and strength of immune response of single, double, and quadruple strain mRNA vaccines at various dosage levels to an approved quadruple strain vaccine.

The virus is usually cultivated in chicken eggs or mammalian cells for traditional seasonal flu vaccinations.

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