Pharmaceutical Companies Developing Universal Flu Vaccine
Two European pharmaceutical companies are currently close to developing a vaccine that would work for all types of influenza.
Described as the ‘holy grail’ of flu vaccines, it would protect against all strains of influenza A – the virus behind both bird flu and the nastiest outbreaks of winter flu.
Just a couple of injections could give long-lasting immunity – unlike the current vaccine which has to be given every year.
The brainchild of scientists at Cambridge biotech firm Acambis, working with Belgian researchers, the vaccine will be tested on humans for the first time in the next few months.
A similar universal flu vaccine, being developed by Swiss vaccine firm Cytos Biotechnology, could also be tested on people in 2007 – and the vaccines on the market in around five years.
That’s very cool. Another positive benefit of the type of vaccine being developed is that it’s apparently easier and cheaper to make than traditional flu vaccines. I wish both companies luck in developing their versions of the vaccine–it’d be nice if the human race could rid itself of the nastier influenzas.