Right now, the U.S. government is in search of an H7N9 vaccine that can reach the market to help prevent against a potential pandemic. And a new FDA fast-track designation for Novavax's candidate might help it get there a little sooner.
As it works to refine its vaccine strategy for the event of an avian flu pandemic, the NIH is trialing Sanofi's H7N9 vaccine at a range of doses and with a variety of adjuvant combinations. And now, it has one that looks promising.
Scientists may have cracked the mystery of the origin of the H7N9 avian influenza, which has caused more than 375 infections and 100 deaths. A new study has found that quail and chickens are the likely sources of transmission of H7N9 influenza virus to humans.
At this stage it is unclear if the Taiwanese government would buy the vaccine. Adimmune is continuing development though so it is ready to produce the vaccine if required.
The resurgence of H7N9 in recent months has pushed the death toll from the virus up past 70, but so far the bird flu has been mainly limited to bird-to-human transmission on mainland China. However, the seasonal circulation of H7N9 is putting it into contact with other flu viruses, and researchers fear a more contagious, virulent strain could result.
Researchers at Kansas State University think they've found an existing antiviral drug that could squelch the H7N9 flu.
The trial found two doses of the adjuvanted cell culture vaccine immunologically protected 85% of participants.
Winter's coming, along with warnings that new cases of H7N9 bird flu in China warrant a global pandemic alert. While the most recent pandemic alarms have fizzled out without any major outbreaks of a lethal virus, the federal government has been supporting work on new vaccine technologies.
The reemergence of H7N9 in China during the past month has reinforced the need for a vaccine. Candidates from Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers have grabbed the headlines recently, but now a U.S. player, Novavax, has joined the race with positive Phase I data.
The H7N9 vaccine may arrive too late and with too little manufacturing capacity to really help, a New Scientist feature warns.